Priya Vashishta

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Computer Science.
Director, Collaboratory for Advanced Computing and Simulations (CACS)

Contact Information

Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of Southern California
3651 Watt Way, VHE 606
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0241

Tel: 213-821-2663
Fax: 213-821-2664


  • Follow advances in computing technologies (hardware, software, algorithms) from teraflop to petaflop to establish a comprehensive collaborative environment for geographically distributed computational scientists and IT experts to perform the largest bio-nano simulations.
  • Establish educational programs to propel students into careers in emerging areas of nano, bio, and information technologies both in academic and industrial settings.


Computing technology will grow by a factor of more than a thousand in the next ten to fifteen years. Our goal is to follow this computing revolution from teraflops (1012 flops) to petaflops (1015 flops). Using this unprecedented computing power, available for the first time in the history of science and engineering, it will be possible to carry out realistic simulations of complex systems and processes in the areas of materials, nanotechnology, and bioengineered systems. Coupled with immersive and interactive visualization this will offer unprecedented opportunity for research as well as modifying graduate and undergraduate education in science and engineering.

  • Bio-inspired paradigms for information processing
  • Information processing & nanostructure-inspired applications in life sciences & bio-technologies
Within Reach
  • At the nano-scale (<=100nm)
    - 10 million -10 billion atom bio-nano systems (inorganic, organic, biochemical) can be simulated & visualized while maintaining their atomistic nature
  • At micro-to meso-scales (0.1mm to mms)
  • Seamless transition from discrete to continuum model



In the education arena, the CACS is establishing:
  • A dual-degree curriculum that will afford graduate students the opportunity to obtain a Ph.D. in the physical sciences or in materials or biomedical sciences/engineering together with an M.S. in computer science.
  • Innovative courses that are simultaneously offered to students in the US, Europe, and Asia through an Access Grid -- a dedicated electronic space with a large tiled projection wall and video/audio capture systems to enable wide-area integration of desktops and presentations