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Dr. Adam Wasserman

Dr. Adam Wasserman

We develop methods to calculate the electronic properties of molecules. Our main goal is to understand the reactivity of molecules from first principles and, particularly, the role played by electron-electron interactions. The equations that need to be solved are well known since the 1920s but solving them in practice is impossible, even with modern supercomputers. To achieve “chemical accuracy” in real molecules (~1 kcal/mol), one must find physically sound shortcuts to the full solution of the Schrödinger equation.  We spend most of our time looking for such shortcuts using pencil and paper, as in the 1920s, but then test our models on modern supercomputers.  Most of our current work is on Partition Density Functional Theory (P-DFT), a method that reformulates the very popular DFT by using fragment densities as the main variables. We have shown that P-DFT can reach chemical accuracy while allowing for more efficient electronic-structure calculations.


  • B.S., Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1999
  • Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2005
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 2008


  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, 2014
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2013
  • American Chemical Society OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 2013
  • Career Award, 2012
  • QSCP Promising Scientist Award of CMOA, 2012


List of publications