I am a professor in the department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and also serve as the department's director of undergraduate studies. I attended Duke University and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy. After a year at the University of Cambridge working on NMR spectroscopy (and figuring out that it wasn't my thing), I received my PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. I did a stint as a post-doctoral researcher at Columbia University, before joining the faculty at Notre Dame in 1999. In 2013, I received the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
I'm a theoretical chemist by training, and most of my lab's research involves computational chemistry (and trying to teach computers how chemistry works). The systems I study all involve an interface between a solid and a disordered phase (like a liquid or gas). Right now, we're trying to understand problems like "Why is Ice Slippery?" or "How does heat move out of a nanoparticle?" or "How can we use flowing liquids to separate molecules that are left- and right-handed images of each other?" Figuring out the interesting questions to ask is the most enjoyable part of science!
My teaching is on the physical side of chemistry. I also teach a Mathematical Methods class and a popular Chemistry of Fermentation & Distillation class. The first semester General Chemistry course is an introduction to physical concepts, and for many students it is the first time they will run into challenging concepts like quantum theory, atomic and molecular structures, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, and how rapidly reactions take place. Because this is my research area, I'm enthusiastic about this material, and I hope that enthusiasm transfers to my students!
In my spare time, I play the bagpipes, and serve as the faculty advisor for the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band.
I am a professor in the department of Mathematics. I attended Merrimack College, and received my PhD from Notre Dame.
My research is centered on the study of complex manifolds and Lie groups of holomorphic automorphisms acting on them. This work has primarily involved homogeneous complex manifolds—-their classification, computing numerical invariants, and establishing various vanishing theorems for their cohomology. I have also been interested in analyzing the quotients of complex manifolds by the actions of Lie groups.
I am the recipient of the 1999, 2002, and 2005 Kaneb Teaching Awards, the 2008 Thomas P. Madden Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen and the 2009 Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.