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Ames Laboratory Chemist Named American Chemical Society Fellow

Mark S. Gordon among 161 colleagues on the society's inaugural list of fellows

For release: Sept. 2, 2009

Mark Gordon, Applied Mathematics
 and Computational Sciences, Ames Laboratory 515-294-0452 
Mark Ingebretsen, Public Affairs, 515-294-3474

AMES, Iowa—Mark S. Gordon, director of the Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, was named to the inaugural class of American Chemical Society Fellows. Gordon, who is also a senior chemist at the Ames Lab and the Frances M. Craig distinguished professor of chemistry, at Iowa State University, joined 161 other chemistry researchers who received the honor when the group met in Washington, D.C., this August.

"Some of the foremost names in U.S. chemistry are on this list, including Nobel Laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences," Gordon said. "It is a great honor to be included with these folks."

Recently, Gordon was also the recipient of the 2009 ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. The international award recognized outstanding achievement in the use of computers in research, development or education in the chemical and biological sciences.

Gordon's research focuses on using high-performance computing to understand how molecules and atoms act, interact and react. He has devoted much of his career to developing the General Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System, or GAMESS software suite, which is designed to run on massively parallel supercomputers. Such systems execute trillions of calculations per second. GAMESS, which has an estimated 100,000 users, can perform high-level modeling of complex physical, chemical and biological systems. Gordon's GAMESS work has been funded by the DOE's Office of Advanced Computing Research.

Gordon earned a bachelor's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University. He began his career at Ames Laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher from 1967-1970, and worked at North Dakota State University from 1973-1992 before returning to Ames Laboratory and ISU.

Gordon is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar. In addition, he has received the American Chemical Society Midwest Award and was elected to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.

ACS is a global non-profit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress. Its 154,000 members make it the world's largest scientific society. The ACS mission is "to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people."

These 162 members "share a common set of accomplishments, namely true excellence in their contributions to the chemical enterprise coupled with distinctive service to ACS or to the broader world of chemistry," said Bruce E. Bursten, ACS immediate past president, and the initiator of the Fellows program.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University.  Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global challenges.