The Zeolite Project

The goal of our project, funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Igor Rivin and Mike Treacy, is to understand the geometry, physics, chemistry, and computational aspects of zeolites.

Who we are.

Igor Rivin, Professor of Mathematics, Temple University

Igor Rivin was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, where he was fortunate enough to study with H. S. M. Coxeter and Ed Bierstone. He went on to study with Bill Thurston at Princeton University, and his checkered career included working with John McCarthy at Stanford (as Applications Director of the QLISP project on parallel symbolic computing), and with Stephen Wofram at Wolfram Research (as Director of Advanced Development for Mathematica, before returning to pure Mathematics, at first as a consultant at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton (now Mike Treacy, who got him interested in zeolites. Their first collaboration was a joint paper with Satish Rao where they enumerated the possible uninodal zeolite frameworks in the P6/mmm space group. Their collaboration restarted many years later.

Mike Treacy, Professor of Physics, Arizona State University.

Mike studied physics at Cambridge, and has since worked at Exxon labs, NEC Research Institute, and Arizona State University, where he has studied diverse areas of physics and physical chemistry (concentrating on electron microscopy). Mike pioneered the study of hypothetical zeolites. He is the Chairman of the International Zeolite Association Structure Commission.

Vitaliy Kapko is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Biological Physics and the Physics Department at the Arizona State University.

Vitaliy Kapko obtained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Institute for Condensed Matter Physics (ICMP) National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 2002. His recent research interests include theory of liquids (in particular, solvation in polar liquids and liquid-glass transition) and kinetics of electron transfer reaction, with application to photosynthesis. Vitaliy works on study of flexibility of zeolite frameworks and electronic structures of amorphous solids

Justin Malestein, Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Temple University

Justin Malestein's research interests lie in low-dimensional (2 or 3) geometry/topology, rigidity theory, and applied math. He does research relating algebraic properties of mapping classes of surfaces and curves on surfaces to their topological/combinatorial properties. He is also currently researching combinatorial aspects of rigidity theory, inorganic crystals known as zeolites and the relation between the two.

Malestein received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, as a student of Benson Farb.

Louis Theran, Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Temple University

Louis Theran studied with Ileana Streinu at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he was a member of her Linkage Lab. His research interests relate to combinatorial rigidity, which relates the geometric properties objects defined by geometric constraints (e.g., scaffolds) to the combinatorial properties of their incidence structures. Along the way, algorithms, tree decompositions of graphs, and random graphs all come up. At the moment, Louis has been working questions arising in the study of zeolites with Igor Rivin. In the distant past, Louis worked at the OSF research center's web group and later the Nokia Research Center; then he decided to go to college.