Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

About the Department


David Yaron has been selected as Acting Head of the Department of Chemistry

photo of Dave YaronDavid Yaron has been selected as Acting Department Head of the Department of Chemistry effective September 1, 2015. Yaron succeeds Hyung Kim who has served as department head since Nov. 2001.

Yaron joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1992 after completing his Ph.D. at Harvard and a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. Yaron received the 2000 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award from The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the 2001 Julius Ashkin Teaching Award from the Mellon College of Science, and the 2004 Award for Excellence from the Carnegie Science Center in the post-secondary educator category. 

Yaron’s research focuses on creating a theoretical description of the photophysics of conjugated polymers and other organic semiconductors, contributing to the understanding of the electronic structure theory of large systems. His research group also works on developing semi-empirical models that merge quantum chemical methods with machine learning.

Yaron has also made significant contributions in the field of chemistry education. He created the NSF-funded and award-winning ChemCollective, an online collection of virtual labs and tutorials that supplement classroom learning and bring chemistry to students in under-resourced schools. Each year, over 300,000 online experiments are carried out in the ChemCollective virtual lab. In 2010, The ChemCollective won Science Magazine’s Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE). He also works with the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center and Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative to carry out studies on how students learn chemistry.

By Jocelyn Duffy

September 8, 2015