Wilkes University Grad Delivers Inaugural Henry J. and Linda C. Pownall Lecture on Oct. 19

by Gabrielle D'Amico

David Yaron, professor of chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, will deliver the inaugural Henry J. and Linda C. Pownall Lecture in Chemistry at Wilkes University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The lecture will take place in Stark Learning Center, room 105. The lecture, “Using Machine Learning to Improve Quantum Chemistry and to Advance Student Learning” is free and open to the public.

Wilkes graduate David Yaron will deliver the inaugural Pownall Lecture in Chemistry at Wilkes University at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19.

Data science impacts two distinct research areas that address long-standing challenges in chemistry: quantum chemistry and student learning. Tools of deep machine learning can help develop low-cost quantum chemistry models that are both computationally fast and accurate. In student learning, open learning initiatives gather millions of records on how students learn chemistry, critical in helping to improve teaching and learning.

Yaron received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wilkes College in 1983, a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1990 and completed postdoctoral work at MIT before joining Carnegie Mellon in 1992. He develops quantum chemical methods for large systems, including especially organic materials for electronic and photophysical applications. Most recently, he has been working on ways to integrate machine learning into quantum chemical models and has developed a neural network that performs quantum chemical calculations within the network. He also develops and studies educational materials through his ChemCollective project and Open Learning Initiative (OLI) courseware.

The Pownall Lecture in Chemistry was established thanks to Henry J. and Linda C. Pownall. Henry Pownall, Ph.D., graduated from Wilkes College in 1967 with a master’s degree in chemistry. He earned his doctorate from Northeastern University in physical chemistry with postdoctoral fellowships in molecular spectroscopy at the University of Houston, and biochemistry at Baylor College of Medicine with an emphasis on lipid metabolism.

Advance registration is encouraged but not required. Attendees can learn more and register online here.

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