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C4 energizes computational sciences

Network of computational chemists to advance the frontiers of computational sciences

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Zurich, Switzerland, 22 Feb 2011—In 1956, IBM chose to establish its European lab in Zurich for several reasons, including close access to some of the best talent and skills in the world. IBM's lab director at the time, A.P. Speiser, knew that being only 10 minutes from world-reknowned universities such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University of Zurich would drive innovation for decades to come. And, as we know, he was right.

C4 kickoff event
C4 kick-off event "Advancing the
Frontiers of Modeling and Simulation
in Chemistry and Materials Science."
Although he probably couldn't have imaged it back then, one such result of his forward-thinking is C4. Established in 1992, C4 is a network of computational chemists of the ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich and IBM Research - Zurich. The purpose of C4 is to advance the frontiers of computational sciences by carrying out cutting-edge research in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology and material science.

Kicking off the New Year with C4

On 13 January, C4 wrapped up its kick-off event entitled "Advancing the Frontiers of Modeling and Simulation in Chemistry and Materials Science." More than 50 participants attended the event hosted at the IBM Industry Solutions Lab in Rueschlikon. Lectures as well as posters were presented by scientists of all three C4 partners. The diverse lectures were a clear demonstration of the impact of simulations on modern chemistry and materials science: from the development of novel battery technologies and new materials for tomorrow's electronics, to the control of chemistry at the nanoscale and the basic understanding of key biological relevant processes.

One of those participants was IBM postdoctural research fellow Philip Shemella, who commented, "Our discipline contains a robust community of researchers working on topics similar to my own. The C4 event facilitated discussions that inspired new ideas and activated new research."

IBM senior scientist Alessandro Curioni, manager of the computational science activities at IBM Research - Zurich and member of the C4 steering committee, believes that "students have brilliant ideas and we can leverage the C4 platform to connect and bridge their thinking with the applied challenges that confront IBM and its clients."

Dr. Curioni hopes that C4 will continue to be a platform for a healthy scientific exchange and to generate new ideas. He adds, "Ten years ago we weren't nearly as accurate in computational chemistry as we are today, and ten years from now we want to be even more accurate to have more predictive power and therefore more impact on science and technology. But that will only happen if we can inspire the next generation of students and scientists to improve upon this field."

Dr. Hans Peter Luthi of ETH Zurich, head of the C4 steering committee, wrapped up the event. He commented, "Today, in the 2011 C4 Worblog_anwhop we inspired young minds and made connections between students, pre-docs and postdocs, professors and IBM scientists. In this field, networks can lower the barrier for students interested in computational sciences or for experimentalists to use modeling and simulation. That is exactly what we want to achieve in order to advance this science further."

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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