Gutgsell Endowed Professor: Nancy Makri

Nancy Makri was born in 1962 in Athens, Greece.  In early childhood she became fascinated with mathematics, and later with science, mostly through the influence of her father, who was an electrical and mechanical engineer.  She graduated from the University of Athens in 1985 with a B.S. in Chemistry and obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989 under the direction of William H. Miller.  After spending two years at Harvard as a Junior Fellow, she joined the Chemistry faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in spring 1992, where she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1996 and Professor of Chemistry and Physics in 1999.

Makri's research interests are in theoretical chemical physics, focusing on the development of new approaches and simulation algorithms for studying the dynamics of quantum mechanical phenomena.  Makri's work at the frontier of this fascinating field has been recognized with many awards and honors, which include Young Investigator Awards from the National Science Foundation and the Beckman Foundation, Packard and Sloan Fellowships, the Medal of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and the Bodossaki Academic Prize in Physical Sciences.  Makri also enjoys teaching, and her name frequently appears on the Incomplete List of Teachers ranked as excellent.  She is the recipient of the Cottrell Scholar Award and the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.  Makri is a University Scholar, as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society.

Nancy Makri and her husband Martin Gruebele have two children, Alex and Valerie.  In addition to spending time with her children, Makri enjoys classical music, playing the piano, cooking, baking, and photography.