Jianfeng Lu

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry (Secondary)
  • Associate Professor of Physics (Secondary)
External address: 242 Physics Bldg, 120 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: Mathematics Department, Duke University, Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 660-2875

Research Areas and Keywords

electronic structure models, calculus of variations, semiclassical analysis
Computational Mathematics
electronic structure models, multiscale modeling and simulations, numerical analysis, rare events simulation, computational physics, time-frequency analysis, fast algorithms, stochastic numerical methods, kinetic equations, nonlinear Schrodinger equations, quantum chemistry, computational statistical mechanics, optimization, high frequency wave propagation
Mathematical Physics
electronic structure models, quantum chemistry, kinetic theory, quantum information
PDE & Dynamical Systems
multiscale modeling and simulations, numerical analysis, calculus of variations, kinetic equations, Schroedinger equations
Physical Modeling
electronic structure models, multiscale modeling and simulations, rare events simulation, computational physics, kinetic equations, nonlinear Schroedinger equations, quantum chemistry, computational statistical mechanics
rare events simulation, computational statistical mechanics, stochastic numerical methods
Signals, Images & Data
time-frequency analysis, fast algorithms, optimization, applied harmonic analysis

Jianfeng Lu is an applied mathematician interested in mathematical analysis and algorithm development for problems from computational physics, theoretical chemistry, materials science and other related fields.

More specifically, his current research focuses include:
Electronic structure and many body problems; quantum molecular dynamics; multiscale modeling and analysis; rare events and sampling techniques.

Education & Training
  • Ph.D., Princeton University 2009

CAREER: Research and training in advanced computational methods for quantum and statistical mechanics awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2020

Collaborative Research: SI2-SSI: ELSI-Infrastructure for Scalable Electronic Structure Theory awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2019

Mathematical Problems for Electronic Structure Models awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016

Li, L, Liu, J-G, and Lu, J. "Fractional Stochastic Differential Equations Satisfying Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem." Journal of Statistical Physics 169.2 (October 2017): 316-339. Full Text Open Access Copy

Yu, VW-Z, Corsetti, F, García, A, Huhn, WP, Jacquelin, M, Jia, W, Lange, B, Lin, L, Lu, J, Mi, W, Seifitokaldani, A, Vázquez-Mayagoitia, Á, Yang, C, Yang, H, and Blum, V. "ELSI: A unified software interface for Kohn–Sham electronic structure solvers." Computer Physics Communications (September 2017). Full Text Open Access Copy

Lu, J, and Steinerberger, S. "A variation on the Donsker-Varadhan inequality for the principal eigenvalue." Proceedings. Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences 473.2204 (August 23, 2017): 20160877-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Gao, Y, Liu, J-G, and Lu, J. "Continuum Limit of a Mesoscopic Model with Elasticity of Step Motion on Vicinal Surfaces." Journal of Nonlinear Science 27.3 (June 2017): 873-926. Full Text Open Access Copy

Li, C, Lu, J, and Yang, W. "On extending Kohn-Sham density functionals to systems with fractional number of electrons." The Journal of chemical physics 146.21 (June 2017): 214109-. Full Text

Lu, J, and Thicke, K. "Orbital minimization method with ℓ 1 regularization." Journal of Computational Physics 336 (May 2017): 87-103. Full Text Open Access Copy

Watson, AB, Lu, J, and Weinstein, MI. "Wavepackets in inhomogeneous periodic media: Effective particle-field dynamics and Berry curvature." Journal of Mathematical Physics 58.2 (February 2017): 021503-021503. Full Text Open Access Copy


The 2017 IMA Prize in Mathematics and its Applications has been awarded to Jianfeng Lu, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics. Lu received... read more »

Jianfeng Lu's mathematical studies put numbers to work for researchers in materials science, physics, chemistry and other fields. Photo by Les Todd/Duke University Photography

New faculty member applies math to solve some of the hardest questions in science Durham, NC - As a mathematician, Jianfeng Lu appreciates the abstract beauty of theories and proofs. But he also sees his craft as a powerful, pragmatic tool for... read more »