William A. Lester


Born April 24, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.
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IBM Outstanding Contribution Award (1974). Director, National Resource for Computation in Chemistry, USA (1978-81). Alumni Achievement Award in Science, The Catholic University of America (1983). Fellow, American Physical Society. (1984). The Percy Julian Award (1979) and the Outstanding Teacher Award (1986), Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1991), National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, USA. Fellow, California Academy of Science (1994). Outstanding Service Award, US National Science Foundation (1996). President's Committee on the National Medal of Science (2000-2002).

Author of:

Numerous articles on chemical physics and co-author of Monte Carlo Methods in Ab Initio Quantum Chemistry, World Scientific, (1994). Editor, Conference on Potential Energy Surfaces in Chemistry, IBM (1971). Editor, Recent Advances in Quantum Monte Carlo, World Scientific (1997). Co-editor, Contemporary Problems in Mathematical Physics, World Scientific (2000). Co-editor, Recent Advances in Quantum Monte Carlo, Part II, World Scientific (2002).

Important Contributions:

  • Molecular Scattering: Development and application of the coupled-channel method for inelastic collisions in atom-molecule systems. Pioneered the use of ab initio potential energy surfaces for molecular scattering applications. Established benchmarks for scattering matrices for inelastic molecular collisions.
  • Electronic Structure: Development and application of the quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) method to atomic and molecular systems. Developed computational approach for the QMC calculation of molecular properties whose operators do not commute with the Hamiltonian. Introduced new compact integral formulation for correlated gaussian functions.