Dr. Susan R. Atlas



Associate Professor



Chemistry & Chemical Biology


Describe your research in about 200 words.

As a theoretical and computational chemical physicist, the problems I work on live at the interface between multiple fields: electronic structure theory and molecular dynamics; quantum computing and quantum chemistry; molecular biophysics and chemical biology; materials physics and nonequilibrium dynamics; genomics and bioinformatics. I use a number of powerful tools in this work, including statistical machine learning; functional analysis; information theory; multiscale modeling and simulation; parallel programming and supercomputing; but also plain old pencil and paper. The questions I ask often come down to this: can we identify emergent patterns in the interacting entities of a complex system, whether these be electrons, atoms, molecules, or proteins?


What’s the most interesting thing you have learned from a student?

I have learned from both my students and my teachers that even a brief interaction to discuss a seemingly minor point can have a lasting impact on one’s life and career.