First Aneesur Rahman Memorial Lecture

Speaker : Professor Michael L Klein FRS
Earle Hepburn Professor of Physical Science
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6202 USA
Topic : Nothing Amuses More Harmlessly Than Computation ...
Date : December 11, 2007
Time : 3:30 PM
Venue : C V Raman Hall, IACS

All are cordially invited to attend.

Abstract: Over the past two decades or so, computational studies of classical and quantum phenomena have taken their rightful place alongside experiment and theory as important probes of physical and chemical phenomena. By using selected example, my talk will review some of this progress, especially as it applies to chemical biology and materials science. The talk will also highlight some challenges and opportunities for computational studies in the coming decade arising from the marriage of the physical and life sciences.

About the Speaker

Michael Klein is the Hepburn Professor of Physical Science, Director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter ( and Director of the Center for Molecular Modeling ( at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After receiving his Ph.D. degree from the University of Bristol (UK) and postdoctoral work in Italy, UK, and the USA, Klein was appointed to a staff position at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. In 1987 he joined the University of Pennsylvania where he established the Center for Molecular Modeling, which is concerned with the application of computational methodologies to problems ranging from chemical physics to materials and chemical biology. He has published more than 500 original articles and edited 4 books.

Klein is a Fellow of several learned societies, including the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (Bangalore) and an Associate Fellow of the Academy of the Developing World (TWAS). He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the UK Institute of Physics and an honorary member of the Materials Research Society of India. Klein has received many awards. Notable are the Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics from the American Physical Society (1999) , and the Bernie J. Alder CECAM Prize of the European Physical Society (2004), which are respectively the leading US and European awards for computational physical science. In 2006, he received the CNR Rao Lecture Award from the Chemical Research Society of India and was recently honored by the American Chemical Society with the Peter Debye Award for Physical Chemistry.

Klein is an innovator and a pioneer in the development and application of computational methods in elucidating the behaviour of molecular assemblies [1-3]. He has advanced the field of molecular simulations over a broad front, impacting both classical and quantum approaches. In so doing, his research has profoundly influenced the interpretation of experiments on the behavior of water [4-6], conducting fluids [7], quantum solutes [8], superfluid droplets [12], molecular solids [9, 10], ultrathin organic films [11], and both biological and synthetic membranes [13, 14].

Klein's contributions to the methodology of molecular simulations have been very important for the development of this branch of science. Importantly, he has mentored more than 100 research associates, who work in academe, government research labs and industry around the world. His standing in the field is unique as his computations typically set the standard against which the community measures just how realistic (and reliable) the simulation of a given physical system can be.