Prof. Francesco Paesani completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He defended his PhD thesis (in Theoretical Physical Chemistry) in 2000, focusing on dispersion-corrected density functional theory and molecular clusters at low temperature. He moved to UC Berkeley as a postdoctoral research associate in the group of Prof. Whaley where he developed Monte Carlo methods to study helium superfluidity in finite clusters. He then moved for a second postdoc to the University of Utah in the group of Prof. Voth where he worked on the development of new methods to model quantum dynamics in condensed-phase systems.
He started his independent career as an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego, in 2009, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015 and Professor in 2017. He received the OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the American Chemical Society in 2014, the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2015, and the Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 2016. For his teaching, Prof. Paesani has been selected by the student body of UC San Diego for the 2017 Legacy Lecture. He serves in the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Physical Chemistry, an American Chemical Society publication, and is currently Vice-Chair of the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision of the American Chemical Society.
Prof. Paesani’s research focuses on the development, implementation, and application of new theoretical and computational methodologies at the intersection of chemistry, physics, and computer science for simulations of complex molecular systems. Prof. Paesani and his group have recently developed novel simulation techniques that enable the modeling of molecular systems with unprecedented accuracy for potential applications in materials research (e.g., porous materials for water treatment, hydrogen storage, carbon capture, and hydrocarbon separation), biochemistry (e.g., drug design), and atmospheric chemistry (e.g., aerosol formation and growth, ice nucleation and cloud condensation). To date, he has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles.
TEACHING INTERESTS: Prof. Paesani is particularly interested in developing and promoting active learning techniques. He believes that today’s educators share the responsibility to propose and implement learning initiatives that go well beyond the traditional lecture format, stimulate critical thinking, and provide a solid connection with a fast growing technologically driven society. At the undergraduate level, Prof. Paesani regularly teaches Honors General Chemistry II, which provides an introduction to molecular interactions, thermodynamics, and chemical equilibrium, and Physical Chemistry, which provides an advanced treatment of thermodynamics and elementary quantum mechanics.
In his free time Prof. Paesani enjoys biking, swimming and running. You can often find him working on his research and holding his “informal” office hours at Tapioc Express in the Price Center.
WEB SITE: http://paesanigroup.ucsd.edu