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Jianfeng Lu


Professor of Mathematics

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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Mathematics
  • Professor of Physics
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 242 Physics Bldg, 120 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 2875
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Princeton University, 2009

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Feng Kang Prize of Scientific Computing. Chinese Academy of Sciences. 2023
  • IMA Prize in Mathematics and its Applications. Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. 2017
  • CAREER Award. National Science Foundation. 2015
  • Sloan Research Fellowship. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 2013
  • Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship. Princeton University. 2008

Courses Taught

  • PHYSICS 590: Selected Topics in Theoretical Physics
  • MATH 690-70: Topics in Applied Mathematics
  • MATH 690-60: Topics in Numerical Methods
  • MATH 660: Numerical Partial Differential Equations
  • MATH 631: Measure and Integration
  • MATH 555: Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MATH 493: Research Independent Study
  • MATH 393: Research Independent Study
  • MATH 391: Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Chen, Z; Lu, J; Lu, Y; Zhang, X, On the Convergence of Sobolev Gradient Flow for the Gross–Pitaevskii Eigenvalue Problem, SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, vol 62 no. 2 (2024), pp. 667-691 [10.1137/23m1552553] [abs].
  • Lu, J; Wu, Y; Xiang, Y, Score-based transport modeling for mean-field Fokker-Planck equations, Journal of Computational Physics, vol 503 (2024) [10.1016/] [abs].
  • Chen, Z; Lu, J; Lu, Y; Zhang, X, Fully discretized Sobolev gradient flow for the Gross-Pitaevskii
    eigenvalue problem
    (2024) [abs].
  • Zhou, M; Lu, J, Solving Time-Continuous Stochastic Optimal Control Problems: Algorithm
    Design and Convergence Analysis of Actor-Critic Flow
    (2024) [abs].
  • Lang, Q; Lu, J, Learning Memory Kernels in Generalized Langevin Equations (2024) [abs].

Affiliate Topics in Materials Research