Evening Lectures - Pensacola

Dr. Angela K. Wilson

THE TALK: Computing is Changing the World and How the World will be Changed by Computing: A Perspective from a Chemist

September 7, 2023


Over the past 60 years, there have been incredible feats of science – putting a person on the moon, eradicating smallpox, unraveling the structure of DNA, decoding the human genome, and discovering elements of the periodic table up to 118, to name only several. For a number of these tremendous feats, computing has played an important role. During this time, there have been ongoing efforts to solve the mathematical complexities of chemistry. Indeed, it has been nearly 100 years since Erwin Schrödinger laid the mathematical basis of quantum mechanics, and, combined with computing, opened up the doors to predicting the way molecules look and behave without venturing into the laboratory.


Dr. Angela K. Wilson is the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the MSU College of Natural Sciences and Director of the MSU Center for Quantum Computing, Science, and Engineering.

She served as 2022 President of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the largest scientific society in the world, with more than 173,000 members. She is immediate past president and member of the Board of Directors of ACS. She has served as the head of the Division of Chemistry at the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Her honors include Fellow of the American Chemical Society, Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Distinguished Woman in Chemistry Award. In 2018, she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. She is a National Associate of the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

Her research spans quantum mechanical and quantum dynamical method development, transition metal and heavy element chemistry, drug discovery, environmental chemistry, catalysis, thermodynamics, and sustainability. Her computational chemistry methodologies are utilized worldwide.