Glenn H. Fredrickson is a soft matter theorist recognized for his work on self-assembling polymers, especially block copolymers. He pioneered a “field-theoretic simulation” technique involving a direct numerical attack on field theory models that has been widely deployed to assess the structure and phase behavior of complex, multiphase polymer systems. Fredrickson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Indialantic, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the same discipline from Stanford University. In 1984, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff, and moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1990 as a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials. Fredrickson is currently a Distinguished Professor at UCSB and a Member of the Board of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, where he was previously Chief Technology Officer. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
Glenn Fredrickson’s group is interested in advancing field-theoretic simulations through improvements in numerical methods and extensions to new classes of physical systems. One current activity involves developing methods for simulating coherent states field theories of polymers, which will enable comprehensive studies of multiphase reacting and topologically complex systems, such as supramolecular polymers. The Fredrickson group is also extending its numerical approaches for classical polymers to quantum field theories of many-boson systems. If successful, the methodology will enable finite-temperature simulations for broad classes of cold atoms and quantum magnets, both at equilibrium and far from equilibrium. The technique is applicable to models with a “sign problem” and could provide a truly microscopic approach to quantum turbulence.