Dan Gezelter is a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and also serves as the department's director of undergraduate studies. He often teaches physical chemistry courses, including undergraduate and graduate courses in quantum mechanics (CHEM 30321) and computational chemistry (CHEM 40650). He also teaches a mathematical methods class (CHEM 20262) and the popular "Chemistry of Fermentation & Distillation" (CHEM 40426). He was a recipient of the 2013 Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
He is currently teaching in the Science & Engineering Scholars program, where he is responsible for a special section of the first semester General Chemistry course (CHEM 10171). General chemistry is an introduction to physical concepts, and for many students, it is the first time they will run into challenging concepts like quantum theory, atomic and molecular structures, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, and how rapidly reactions take place. This special section of General Chemistry meets five days per week and involves additional work in critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Professor Gezelter is a theoretical chemist by training, and most of his research involves computational chemistry, specifically molecular dynamics and statistical mechanics. He studies systems that contain an interface between a solid and a disordered phase, and is trying to answer questions like "Why is Ice Slippery?" He has received multiple awards throughout his career, including a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and a New Faculty Award from the Henry & Camille Dreyfus Foundation.