We are pleased to send you the 22nd issue of the NCCR MARVEL newsletter!
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Newsletter - February 27, 2020

Dear MARVEL'ers,

Please find below our latest newsletter, with highlights, news, and events linked to the MARVEL community. 

This month, read about our work on a MOF co-catalyst that may pave the way towards the design of selective catalytic heterogeneous processes in the fine chemical industry as well as an artificial neural network model that could serve as a new basis for solving inverse problems. There’s an interview with Anatole von Lilienfeld on machine learning as well as interviews with two MARVEL INSPIRE Potentials Master’s fellows.

For your agendas, there is an International Women’s Day event being held at EPFL on March 5 as well as the next Junior Seminar (March 27). There’s the ever-popular Ig Nobel Award Tour Show 2020 on March 30 and, looking further ahead, you can already register for the Psi-k 2020 conference at EPFL from September 14–17.  Held every five years, it is the largest world-wide in first-principle simulations.


MOF co-catalyst allows selectivity of branched aldehydes of up to 90%

Heterogeneous catalysts are often preferred in industrial settings because of their robustness and lower operating costs, but homogenous catalysts still dominate when high selectivity is needed—finding superior heterogeneous catalysts has been a challenge. A recent collaboration between the Paul Scherrer Institute's experimental Syncat Group, led by Marco Ranocchiari, and EPFL’s Laboratory of Molecular Simulation, a computational group led by Berend Smit, has shown how micropores in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can enhance selectivity to levels that cannot be achieved with existing catalysts. Though the findings have significant potential in the production of aldehydes, the easy experimental protocol and the chemical and structural flexibility of MOFs means that the approach represents a powerful tool for designing selective catalytic heterogeneous processes in the fine chemical industry overall. A paper on the research has just been published in Nature Communications.

New artificial neural network model bests MaxEnt in inverse problem example

NCCR MARVEL researchers at EPFL’s Chair of Computational Condensed Matter Physics (C3MP) and colleagues have developed an artificial neural network (ANN) model that may serve as a basis for solving inverse problems. Their approach reaches the same level of accuracy as the now commonly used maximum entropy (MaxEnt) method for low-noise data, performs significantly better than this standard technique when the noise strength increases, and features a reduction in computational cost by orders of magnitude. The research has just been published in Physical Review Letters.

Read MARVEL Highlights here.


Anatole von Lilienfeld discusses machine learning, new journal in PhysicsWorld interview

Anatole von Lilienfeld, project leader of NCCR MARVEL's Incubator Project 2 and professor of physical chemistry at the University of Basel, was recently named editor-in-chief of a new journal called Machine Learning: Science and Technology. In an interview with PhysicsWorld, he spoke about the role that machine learning plays in science, the purpose of the new journal and how he thinks the field will develop.

MARVEL/CECAM lecture series videos now available on Materials Cloud

Video recordings of lectures held as part of the CECAM/MARVEL "Classics in molecular and materials modeling" and the Mary Ann Mansigh conversation series are now available online on Materials Cloud.

Registration for Psi-k 2020 is open!

Psi-k conference

Aug 22, 2022, 14:00 until Aug 25, 2022, 18:00, SwissTech Convention Center, EPFL

Psi-k 2022 is the 6th general conference for the worldwide Psi-k community. Typically held every 5 years, this event is the largest worldwide in first-principles simulations. With more than 1000 participants attending the past 2010 and 2015 editions, it promises to be the most exciting, defining event in the field, offering an intense but enjoyable atmosphere, in addition to a chance to explore the beautiful region around Lausanne and Lake Geneva.  

Ig Nobel Award Tour Show 2020

[CANCELED] — Ig Nobel Award Tour Show 2020

Mar 30, 2020, from 18:00 until 20:00, EPFL, Forum Rolex

Due to event restrictions linked to the coronavirus, the Ig Nobel Award Tour Show 2020 at EPFL is canceled, which we greatly regret.

INSPIRE Potentials – MARVEL Master's Fellowships

The next deadline for INSPIRE Potentials MARVEL Master's Fellowships is April 15!

These fellowships are developed to empower excellent female students to pursue a career in a field of science where women are still strongly underrepresented. They consist of a 6-month 12'000 CHF fellowship (+ 500 CHF for travel + separate coverage of tuition fees and medical insurance (for non EU participants)). The yearly application deadlines are on 15 April and 15 October.

To extend publicity and to encourage more female students to apply, we count on you to broadcast this information. All the information is available on http://nccr-marvel.ch/inspire.

Read Linnea Mørch Folkmann and Jigyasa Nigam's testimonials.

MARVEL Junior Seminar

[CANCELED] — MARVEL Junior Seminar — March 2020

Mar 27, 2020, from 12:15 until 13:30, EPFL, MED 0 1418

Due to event restrictions linked to the coronavirus, the March Junior Seminar is canceled, which we greatly regret.

International Women's Day 2020

International Women’s Day — Shoot for the Moon

Mar 05, 2020, from 17:30 until 21:30, EPFL, Forum Rolex

EPFL Alumni and EPFL's Equal Opportunities Office invite you on the occasion of International Women’s Day, which will officially take place a few days later, to celebrate women of science and set off with them to conquer space on Thursday 5 March at the Forum Rolex. MARVEL will be present.

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