(image copyright 2012 PBurch/Tulane)
2012 Materials Theory Award Winner
"For his pioneering contributions to the fundamental development and nonempirical approximations in density functional theory."
John P. Perdew is a professor of Physics at Tulane University. His research in the density functional theory of electronic structure has helped to establish this theory as the most widely used method to predict the properties of atoms, molecules and solids from the principles of quantum mechanics. He has published 260 research articles and presented 115 invited talks at conferences. His work has been cited more than 87,000 times. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and an elected member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and the National Academy of Sciences. The Perdew special issue of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation appeared in April 2009. Born in 1943 in western Maryland, Perdew received a BS in Physics and Mathematics from Gettysburg College in 1965, and a PhD in Physics from Cornell University in 1971. After postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto and Rutgers University, he joined the Department of Physics at Tulane University in 1977, and was promoted to full professor in 1982. At Tulane, he served two terms as Chair of Physics, and has supervised the research of 15 doctoral students, 12 postdoctoral research associates and 2 research assistant professors. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation since 1978.
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At the 2012 MRS Fall Meeting, Perdew delivered an awards talk entitled "Climbing the Ladder of Density Functional Approximations."