Conferences & Lectures :

Jonathan L. Sessler Distinguished Alumni Lectures Series
Thursday, April 9th

Professor James Skinner, University of Wisconsin at Madison
The Mystery of Water and Its Condensed Phases

4:15pm Braun Lecture Hall
S.G. Mudd Building
Stanford University

About the Seminar:
The properties of water, an important and unusual substance, have been difficult to understand and model theoretically, especially in its many condensed phases.    In this talk I will introduce a new approach, involving explicit three-body interactions, to model water at the molecular level.   Using this model we will study the bulk liquid, the liquid/vapor interface, crystalline and amorphous ices, and water clusters.   We will make extensive comparison to experiment, especially various types of time- and frequency-domain vibrational spectroscopy such as Raman, one- and two-dimensional infra-red, and one- and two-dimensional sum-frequency generation.

About the Speaker:
James Skinner attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he was a double major in physics and chemistry (highest honors in each major). He then entered Harvard University, where he studied with Professor Peter Wolynes, received an NSF graduate fellowship, and graduated with his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1979. His postdoctoral work at Stanford was under the direction of Hans Andersen, and supported by an NSF postdoctoral fellowship. In 1981, Skinner joined the faculty of Columbia University, becoming Professor of Chemistry in 1986. In 1990, he moved to the University of Wisconsin, as the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Theoretical Chemistry Institute. In 2010, he was appointed Joseph O. and Elizabeth S. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry. Skinner has been the recipient of a number of awards for both scholarship and teaching, including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2003), Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), American Chemical Society Division of Physical Chemistry Award in Theoretical Chemistry (2011), American Chemical Society Irving J. Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics (2012), and Member of the National Academy of Sciences (2012). He has coauthored over 200 scientific publications, has given over 300 invited lectures, and has served as advisor to 32 graduate students and 14 postdocs. Skinner's research interests are in the theoretical chemistry of condensed phases.

About the Sessler Lectures:
The Department of Chemistry received a generous donation in 1997 from Professor Jonathan Sessler of the University of Texas-Austin, establishing an endowment to support the Sessler Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series. Jonathan L. Sessler earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1982, working under the direction of Professor James P.Collman and John I. Brauman. Sessler is best known for his pioneering work on "expanding porphyrins."

The Sessler Lecture is scheduled every two years, and alumni of Stanford University's Department of Chemistry are chosen as the speakers. Professors Jonathan Sessler (2001), Roger Kornberg (2003),  K. Berry Sharpless (2005), Andrew A.  Gewirth (2008), and Peter Dervan (2011), Daniel Gamelin (2013) have presented these lectures in previous years. 
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