Faculty & Staff

Silvia Crivelli

Executive Director of MSSE


Dr. Crivelli received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1995. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where she began to work in computational biology. She’s been a researcher at LBNL since 2000.

Teresa Head-Gordon

Faculty Director of MSSE


Prof. Teresa Head-Gordon is Chancellor’s professor of chemistry, bioengineering, and chemical and biomolecular engineering. She is a member of the Pitzer Center for Theoretical Chemistry, is on the Board of Directors of the Molecular Sciences Software Institute, is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and is also the co-director of CalSov. She is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for her contributions to the computational methodologies for macromolecular assemblies. Prof Head-Gordon’s research group develops software packages for molecular simulations and she has recently received funding from the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute for her COVID-19 project entitled ” Small Molecule Drug Discovery for COVID-19 Using Physics-Inspired Machine Learning”.

Martin Head-Gordon



Prof Head-Gordon is The Kenneth S. Pitzer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, an American Chemical Society Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences. Professor Head-Gordon’s studies in theoretical chemistry attack the frontiers of electronic structure calculations by the development of novel theories and algorithms. His research centers on the development and application of electronic structure theories, to permit the treatment of problems that are currently beyond the reach of standard methods. Within electronic structure theory, Martin Head-Gordon is known for the development of linear scaling methods for performing density functional theory calculations, for new methods for calculating electronic excited states, and for advances in electron correlation methods, including widely used density functionals. Additionally, he works on applications that include modeling catalysis and a diverse range of intermolecular interactions. Prof. Head-Gordon’s group has actively contributed to the Q-Chem program package and has collaborated with Q-Chem Inc. on the development of linear-scaling density functional methods, and local correlation methods.

Heather Makiharju

Graduate Student Advisor


My name is Heather Mäkiharju and I'm the Graduate Student Advisor for the MSSE program. I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, but I have lived in Albany, CA since January 2016. My academic background is psychology, history and higher education administration; I studied at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI where I received my Master's in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Academic Affairs & Student Development. I'm a student service professional with experience working with international students and high achieving students in the STEM fields. Prior to joining the University of California, Berkeley, I held positions in the College of Engineering and Medical School at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Most recently, I was the Program Advisor for the Berkeley Physics International Education (BPIE) program in Physics. In my free time I enjoy running and indoor cycling.

Luis Crivelli


Luis Crivelli has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. His doctoral work was on Large Deformation Finite Elements under Professor Carlos Felippa. His postdoctoral work was on Parallel Computing with Professor Charbel Farhat. He is among the first developers of FETI. In 1992 he joined Hibbitt, Karlsson, and Sorensen (HKS) , the developers of ABAQUS, the most advanced nonlinear finite element software. He has been responsible for a number of projects that afforded ABAQUS a leadership position in High Performance Computing.

James Demmel


He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Caltech in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1983. After spending six years on the faculty of the Courant Institute, New York University; he joined the Computer Science Division and Mathematics Departments at Berkeley in 1990, where he holds joint appointments. Professor Demmel is an ACM Fellow, a SIAM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, and a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science. He has also won the IEEE Computer Society Sydney Fernbach Award for "computational science leadership in creating adaptive, innovative, high performance linear algebra software."

Kathy Yellck


Yelick, who joined Berkeley in 1991, is also the Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and a senior advisor on computing at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Yelick’s research centers on high-performance computing, programming systems, parallel algorithms, and computational genomics. She is well known for her Partitioned Global Address Space languages work and has won several awards. She earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Aydin Buluc


I am a Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Computational Research Division) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of EECS (CS Division) at UC Berkeley. I work on high-performance graph analysis and libraries, parallel sparse matrix computations, communication-avoiding algorithms, with applications in machine learning and computational genomics.

Jessica Nash



Jessica Nash is a Software Scientist and the Education Lead at The Molecular Sciences Software Institute. She completed her PhD at North Carolina State University in Materials Science and Engineering, where she studied DNA nano-materials using molecular dynamics simulations. Since joining MolSSI in 2017, her work has focused on the development and improvement of software in the computational molecular sciences. She currently works as the lead developer for the web dashboard for MolSSI’s project SEAMM (Simulation Environment for Atomistic and Molecular Simulation). As Education Lead for the Institute, she develops educational materials for researchers which enhance their capabilities to write code and use computational molecular science software.

Benjamin Pritchard



Dr. Ben Pritchard is a software scientist at MolSSI. His PhD thesis research was largely focused on computation of paramagnetic nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) using density functional theory. He has a passion for programming, with a particular focus on C++, Python, and how a marriage of the two can be used in forming coherent frameworks in computational chemistry.