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Tomorrow’s materials, today

Public lecture to discuss developing tools to accelerate materials discovery

By Kelly Foss

An upcoming public lecture at Memorial University will discuss how artificial intelligence, high-throughput quantum chemistry and robotics can accelerate materials discovery.

Dr. Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a professor with the University of Toronto’s departments of chemistry and computer science, designs and implements materials acceleration platforms or, MAPs, to develop the materials of tomorrow, today.

“In this talk, I will argue that for materials discovery, one needs to go beyond simple computational screening approaches followed by traditional experimentation,” he said. “The integration of prediction, synthesis and characterization in an AI-driven closed-loop approach promises the acceleration of materials discovery by a factor of 10, or even a 100.”

His public lecture, titled The Materials of Tomorrow, Today, is hosted by the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science. It will take place Monday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, room IIC-2001. Limited free parking will be available in lot 17; a reception will follow.

Accelerating scientific discovery

Dr. Aspuru-Guzik’s research lies at the interface of computer science with chemistry and physics. He works in the integration of robotics, machine learning and high-throughput quantum chemistry for the development of “self-driving laboratories,” which promise to accelerate the rate of scientific discovery. He also develops quantum computer algorithms for quantum machine learning and has pioneered quantum algorithms for the simulation of matter.

Currently the Canada 150 Research Chair in Quantum Chemistry, Dr. Aspuru-Guzik is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. Previously, full professor at Harvard University, he co-founded Zapata Computing and Kebotix, two early-stage ventures in quantum computing and self-driving laboratories, respectively.

Elizabeth R. Laird Lecture

The Elizabeth R. Laird Lecture was established by a bequest from Dr. Elizabeth Laird, a prominent Canadian physicist who held posts at Yale, Cambridge, Chicago, Mount Holyoke and Western Ontario, in the first half of the 20th century.


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