Computational Chemistry: From the Phone to the Cloud

Student Author(s)

Nathan R. Vance

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. William F. Polik

Document Type


Event Date



Over the last half century, the cost of computing power has dropped by about 10 orders of magnitude. As a result, computational modeling has become a practical tool for chemists to calculate molecular structures, properties, spectra, and reactivity. The Polik group previously developed WebMO, which installs on a linux computer and allows students and researchers to perform state-of-the-art computational chemistry calculations from their web browsers. This past year, we have extended the WebMO project to two additional computing platforms: smartphones and cloud computing. Smartphones, with their touchscreens and high portability, are convenient for building molecules and viewing computed results. Cloud computing promises a low cost server alternative for those who plan to compute intermittently, do not have access to a conventional cluster, or lack technical expertise to maintain a server.


This research was supported by the Cupery Chemistry Student Research Fund.

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