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
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Associate Professor in Physics

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 242 Physics Bldg, 120 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-2875
  • Email Address: jianfeng@math.duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Princeton University, 2009

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • 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

  • MATH 375: Introduction to Linear Programming and Game Theory
  • MATH 493: Research Independent Study
  • MATH 494: Research Independent Study
  • MATH 631: Measure and Integration
  • MATH 660: Numerical Partial Differential Equations
  • MATH 690-70: Topics in Applied Mathematics
  • MATH 757: Introduction to Linear Programming and Game Theory
  • MATH 790-90: Minicourse in Advanced Topics
  • PHYSICS 590: Selected Topics in Theoretical Physics

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Yu, VWZ; Campos, C; Dawson, W; García, A; Havu, V; Hourahine, B; Huhn, WP; Jacquelin, M; Jia, W; Keçeli, M; Laasner, R; Li, Y; Lin, L; Lu, J; Moussa, J; Roman, JE; Vázquez-Mayagoitia, Á; Yang, C; Blum, V, ELSI — An open infrastructure for electronic structure solvers, Computer Physics Communications, vol 256 (2020) [10.1016/j.cpc.2020.107459] [abs].
  • Li, W; Lu, J; Wang, L, Fisher information regularization schemes for Wasserstein gradient flows, Journal of Computational Physics, vol 416 (2020) [10.1016/j.jcp.2020.109449] [abs].
  • Li, Y; Lu, J, Optimal Orbital Selection for Full Configuration Interaction (OptOrbFCI): Pursuing the Basis Set Limit under a Budget., Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation (2020) [10.1021/acs.jctc.0c00613] [abs].
  • Gao, Y; Liu, JG; Lu, J; Marzuola, JL, Analysis of a continuum theory for broken bond crystal surface models with evaporation and deposition effects, Nonlinearity, vol 33 no. 8 (2020), pp. 3816-3845 [10.1088/1361-6544/ab853d] [abs].
  • Ge, R; Lee, H; Lu, J, Estimating normalizing constants for log-concave distributions: Algorithms and lower bounds, Proceedings of the Annual Acm Symposium on Theory of Computing (2020), pp. 579-586 [10.1145/3357713.3384289] [abs].