Paola Gori Giorgi (1971) wants to make computational chemistry and computational materials science truly predictive, a goal that, if fully achieved, would have enormous consequences in terms of both economic and environmental sustainability. To reach this holy grail, we need a fundamental building block: reliable, rigorous, computationally affordable approximations to the quantum many-electron part of these calculations. The heart of the problem is that electrons interact with each other, which influences their behaviour – particularly in complicated functional materials and reactions with large molecules, where quantum and interaction effects have a strong interplay. The original approach of Gori Giorgi is based on the limit in which the interactions between the electrons become infinitely strong. She discovered that this limit is formally equivalent to a problem appearing in applied mathematics and economics, which allowed her to readapt many concepts and algorithms to the many-electron problem. Her current work, thus, lies at the very interface of cutting edge research in chemistry, physics, and applied mathematics.
Paola Gori Giorgi was appointed as a URC professor on 1 January 2016.