Susan Atlas

Associate Professor

Photo: Susan Atlas
Physics & Astronomy (PAIS) 2528

Research Interests:

  • Chemical and molecular physics
  • Materials theory
  • Computational physics
Dr. Susan Atlas joined UNM Chemistry and Chemical Biology in August 2020 as a tenure-track Associate Professor. Susan is a theoretical chemical physicist working on fundamental and applied problems in electronic structure and molecular dynamics, quantum information science, chemical and synthetic biology, materials physics, and genomics. A common theme in her work is finding ways to identify emergent patterns in the interacting entities of a complex system---whether these be electrons, atoms, molecules, or proteins.

Susan received her B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from Queens College, City University of New York, and her A.M. in physics, and PhD in chemical physics, from Harvard University. Her dissertation proposed one of the earliest van der Waals density functionals, based on a nonlocal electron gas theory of the atom-in-molecule. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Los Alamos Center for Nonlinear Studies and Chemical and Laser Sciences Division before joining UNM as a research professor in Physics and Astronomy. She also served as Director of the UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing, and as Founding Director of the UNM Cancer Center Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Shared Resource, where she helped pioneer novel machine-learning techniques for genomic analysis.