Professor So Hirata has been named one of this campus’s Blue Waters Professors. The position confers a significant commitment of Blue Waters computing resources, up to 240,000 node hours, with a value of over $200,000 per year. In the call for nominations last fall, the NCSA indicated that up to eight current faculty members on campus would be selected for this appointment.
Professor Hirata received his B.S (1994) and M.S. (1996) from the University of Tokyo and his Ph.D. (1998) in theoretical chemistry from the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Institute for Molecular Science) in Japan. He then became a visiting scholar (1998-1999) at University of California at Berkeley and a postdoctoral research associate (1999-2001) at University of Florida. He was a senior research scientist (2001-2004) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory before being appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Florida, where he was promoted to an associate professor in 2009. Professor Hirata joined the University of Illinois faculty in August, 2010, where he is also an alumni research scholar and a faculty member of the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technology. Among his previous awards are the Hewlett-Packard Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the Medal of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, an NSF CAREER Award, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. He was elected a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012. His research focuses on the development of new many-body theories describing concerted motions of electrons in atoms and molecules in the gas and condensed phases and in crystalline solids.
Exerpt from an email sent by Gregory Girolami