The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program, which supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences, recently selected Professor JR Schmidt as an award winner for 2014. The national award recognizes research achievements, a demonstrated commitment to education, and the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching.
Schmidt is frequently recognized by students as an outstanding classroom instructor. He is an advocate for incorporating computational chemistry into the undergraduate curriculum across all levels. To make computational tools more user-friendly for students, Schmidt created a web-based interface called WebMO, which has been adopted by many institutions worldwide.
The Schmidt group uses computational tools at the research level to address both fundamental and applied questions pertaining to energy and catalysis. Among other efforts, the group is working to develop more efficient catalysts for the production of alternative fuel sources. To alleviate the environmental impact of burning coal, the group is also working on modeling systems that can sequester carbon dioxide from the exhaust gas mixture.
“[Schmidt] personifies the ideal candidate for the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award,” Professor Robert McMahon, chair of the Chemistry Department, says. “He maintains an outstanding research program, and his visionary innovations in educational technology are widely implemented and garner international recognition.”
Learn more about computational chemistry in the undergraduate curriculum at UW-Madison and research in the Schmidt group.