David Vanderbilt received his BA in Physics from Swarthmore College in 1976 and his PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. He spent three years as a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley before joining the faculty of the Physics Department at Harvard University in 1984, first as an Assistant and then as an Associate Professor. He has been a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University since 1991, and was named Board of Governors Professor of Physics in 2009. Dr. Vanderbilt is an expert in the development of methods for electronic structure calculations and the application of such methods for computational materials theory, especially as regards ferroelectric and related materials. Dr. Vanderbilt has published over 260 articles in scientific journals and has a Web of Science h-index of 75. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), is a winner of the 2006 Rahman Prize in Computational Physics awarded by the APS, and served as Chair of the Division of Materials Physics of the APS in 2006. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.

Research Interests

In recent decades, first-principles electronic-structure calculations have provided an extremely powerful tools for predicting the electronic and structural properties of materials. Vanderbilt's principal interests are in applying such methods to study the dielectric, ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and magnetoelectric properties of oxides and other functional materials. These may be simple bulk materials, or they may be superlattices or other nanostructured composites in which surface and interface effects are important. He also maintains an abiding interest in the development of new theoretical approaches and computational algorithms that can extend the reach and power of these first-principles methods. In particular, his group has made contributions to pseudopotential theory, the theory of electric polarization, the study of insulators in finite electric fields, the theory of Wannier functions and their applications, the role of Berry phases and Berry curvatures in dielectric and magnetoelectric phenomena, and the theory of topological insulators.

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Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics