Kickoff Workshop for the US-Africa Initiative in Electronic Structure at APS March Meeting 2021

Updated March 14, 2021 at 12:38pm Central time


With the help of the APS, we are hosting our Kickoff Event: a virtual mini-workshop at the 2021 APS March Meeting, Sunday March 14, 2021, 8am - 12pm Central Daylight Time

The purpose of this workshop is to foster the development of collaborations between US and Africa scientists and students. Developing collaborations is the primary goal of the US- Africa Initiative sponsored by the APS Innovation Fund.

The talks slides and posters and videos linked below will not be removed, so if you have a revised version or would like to add something, just email

Group Photo

Group photo – 4.3 MB .png version and 24 MB Version

If you will not attend March Meeting:

Note: If you will not attend March Meeting, you still welcome to submit a poster and join activities after the APS meeting! Please:

How to attend the USAfrI mini-workshop

This mini-workshop is open to all people registered for the APS March Meeting 2021.

After the mini-workshop: A Guide to APS March Meeting

This USAfrI workshop happens on the Sunday before the March Meeting regular sessions. Richard Martin has prepared two documents to help USAfrI participants navigate the very large APS March Meeting and its thousand talks:

Time Event
7:15 - 8:00 am Central Daylight Zoom Room open for testing
8:00 - 8:15 am Introduction
8:15 - 9:15 am Talks & Discussion (15 minute talk + 5 minute discussion)
Our invited speakers will give examples of work that could lead to collaborations.
Chair: Renata Wentzcovitch
8:15 - 8:30 am André Schleife, University of Illinois
Electronic excitations from first principles (pdf)
8:35 - 8:50 am Fatema Yahya Mohamed, University of Khartoum, Sudan
Ab Initio Investigation of Self-Assembled Nanostructures (pdf)
8:55 - 9:10 am Deyu Lu, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Welcome to the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (pdf)
9:15 - 9:30 am Break
9:30 - 10:30 am Posters Session – Chair: Sinéad Griffin
Poster presenters are asked to arrive at the poster session (virtually) on time.
Part 1: Pre-recorded ‘slam’-style videos from poster presenters to introduce themselves & proposed areas of interest/collaboration (Videos concatenated: 163MB .m4v lower-res version;
(Part 2: Breakout rooms for African posters presenters: US participants are invited to visit the breakout rooms to discuss with African participants.
Part 3: Breakout rooms for US poster presenters: African participants can visit breakout rooms.
10:30 am - 11:50 am Talks & Discussion (15 minutes talk + 5 minute discussion)
Chair: Omo Akin-Ojo
10:30 - 10:45 am George Amolo, The Technical University of Kenya
10:50 - 11:05 am Cai-Zhuang Wang, Ames National Laboratory
Adaptive Genetic Algorithm for Materials Discovery (pdf)
11:10 - 11:25 am Garu Gebreyesus, University of Ghana
Physics of lower dimensional systems: examples of research made possible through collaborations
11:30 - 11:45 am Kristin Persson, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Data-driven Materials Design using the Materials Project (pdf)
11:50 am - 12pm Conclusion and Future Directions

Invited Speakers

USAfrI Speakers

List of the Research Groups who are presenting posters

We are looking forward to contributed posters and poster presentations by these researchers and research groups:

People & Research Groups (43) Institution Posters linked below
Sara Abass University of Khartoum Poster+Video-Abass
Ibrahim Bamidele Adetunji Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria Poster-Adetunji
Ridwan Agbaoye Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy Enugu, Nigeria Poster-Agbaoye
B. Samuel Agboola Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria Poster+Video-Agboola
Omololu Akin-Ojo ICTP East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR), Rwanda Poster-AKIN-OJO Poster-DANDOGBESSI
Georgies Alene Addis Ababa Institute of Technology Poster+Video-Alene
Lynet Allan University of Nairobi, Kenya Poster+Video-Allan
N. Felana Andriambelaza University of Pretoria Poster+Video-Andriambelaza
Michal Bajdich SUNCAT Center for Catalysis, SLAC, Stanford, USA Poster-Bajdich
Stanimir A. Bonev Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Poster/Video-Badjo
Marco Buongiorno Nardelli University of North Texas Poster-Jayaraj
Maria K. Chan Argonne National Laboratory  
Mesfin Diro CHAKA Addis Ababa University Poster+Video-CHAKA
Gabriel Chirchir Egerton University, Kenya Poster+Video-Chirchir
G. Andrés Cisneros University of North Texas Poster-Cisneros
Valentino Cooper Oak Ridge National Laboratory Poster+Video-Cooper
Michel Côté Université de Montréal Poster+Video-Côté
Tabbetha A. Dobbins Rowan University  
David Drabold Ohio University Poster+Video-Drabold
Elif Ertekin University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Poster-Ertekin-Gomes
Marco Fornari Central Michigan University Video-Fornari Poster-Carnevali
Giulia Galli The University of Chicago  
Lidia Carvalho Gomes University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Poster+Video-Gomes-Ertekin
Sinéad Griffin Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Poster+Video-Craig
Gamachis Gurmesa College of Natural and Computational Science, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia Poster+Video-Gurmesa
Tim Kowalczyk Western Washington University Poster-Kowalczyk - will not be at workshop
Richard Martin UIUC, Stanford U, and ASESMA Poster+Video-Martin
Murugi Ndirango Columbia Global Centers-Nairobi  
Jonah Nagura International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Poster+Video-Nagura
Steve Ndéngue ICTP East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR), Rwanda Poster-Ndengue
Jeffrey Neaton Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Poster+Video-Peterson
Olugbenga Oshakuade University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria Poster-Oshakuade
Mark R. Pederson University of Texas El Paso Poster-Pederson
Yuan Ping University of California Santa Cruz  
John J Rehr University of Washington Poster+Video-Rehr
James M Rondinelli Northwestern University Poster-Walters
Yihan Shao University of Oklahoma Poster-Shao
Sashi Satpathy University of Missouri Poster-Satpathy
Xiuping Tao Winston-Salem State University Poster+Video-Tao - will not be at workshop
Lucas Wagner University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Poster+Video-Wagner
Renata Wentzcovitch Columbia University Poster-Luo Poster-Zhuang Poster-Zhang Poster-Wentzcovitch
Christopher Wolverton Northwestern University Poster-Wolverton
David Vanderbilt Rutgers University Poster+VideoVanderbilt Poster+Video-Singh
John T. Vinson National Institute for Standards and Technology Poster+Video-Vinson

Posters and Videos: (45)

1 Machine Learning coupled with high-throughput computational screening approach for accelerated rechargeable redox flow batteries discovery. (ptx)
Mesfin Diro Chaka (AAU, Physics), Chernet Amente Geffe(AAU, Physics) ,Yedilfana Setarge Mekonnen(AAU,Center for Environmental Sciences)
Mesfin Diro CHAKA Video introduction (m4v) Channel 1
2 ab-initio Studies of Effects of Doping on Selected Titanium Oxides (pdf)
J.M.Mwabora (UoN), G.O.Amolo (TU-K), S.Mureramanzi (UoN).
Lynet Allan Video introduction (mp4) Materials Modeling Group, TU-K. Channel 1
3 Theory of excited state electronic structure and x-ray spectra (pdf)
John J. Rehr (U. Washington Physics; SLAC Photon Science)
John Rehr Video introduction (mp4) Channel 2
4 Cisneros Research group (ptx)
G. A. Cisneros (UNT Chemistry)
G. Andrés Cisneros Channel 2
5 Computational research on glasses and amorphous materials (ptx)
David Drabold (Ohio University)
David Drabold Video introduction (mp4) Channel 3
6 Examples of computational research in condensed matter physics at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. (pdf)
Sara A. H. Abass, Arwa G. F. Mohamed and Abdalla A. Mohammed
Sara Abass Video introduction (m4v) Channel 4
7 Vanderbilt group at Rutgers University (ptx)
David Vanderbilt (Rutgers University)
David Vanderbilt Video introduction (mp4) Channel 3
8 Computational Investigation of Efficient and Affordable Energy Conversion and Storage Materials (ptx)
Gamachis S Gurmesa, Girum A Tiruye, Yedilfana S Mekonnen, Chernet Amente (College of Natural and Computational Science, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia)
Gamachis Gurmesa Video introduction (m4v) Channel 4
9 Computational X-ray Spectroscopy Using OCEAN (pdf)
John Vinson (NIST)
John Vinson Video introduction (mp4) Channel 5
10 Microscopic control of SiGe/high-κoxide gate stack for p-MOSFET hole qubits (pdf)
B.I.Adetunji(Bellstech, CNR-NANO), F. Tavanti, A. Catellani, A. Calzolari(CNR-NANO)
Ibrahim Bamidele Adetunji Channel 6
11 Opportunities in multifaceted design of metal-insulator transition materials (ptx)
L.N. Walters, K.D. Miller, A. B. Georgescu, J.M. Rondinelli (Northwestern University)
Lauren Walters Materials theory and design group website: Relevant publication: Channel 5
12 Many-body quantum calculations and effective low-energy physics (ptx)
Yueqing Chang (UIUC), William Wheeler (UIUC), Lucas K. Wagner (UIUC)
Lucas Wagner Video introduction (mp4) Channel 7
13 Quantum Capacitance of Metal-Doped Graphene (ptx)
O. M. Oshakuade (Ibadan)
Olugbenga Oshakuade Channel 6
Kipkemei Gabriel Chirchir
Gabriel Chirchir Video introduction (mp4) Channel 8
15 US-Africa Initiative Workshop: Condensed Matter Theory at the University of Missouri (ptx)
S. Satpathy
Sashi Satpathy Some recent papers: 1. S. Bhowal and S. Satpathy, Intrinsic Orbital Moment and Prediction of a Large Orbital Hall Effect in the 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides, Phys. Rev. B 101, 121112 (R) (2020) 2. S. Bhowal and S. Satpathy, Orbital gyrotropic magneto-electric effect and its strain engineering in monolayer NbX2, Phys. Rev. B 102, 201403 (R) (2020) 3. P. Sahu, S. Bhowal, and S. Satpathy, Effect of Inversion Symmetry Breaking on the Orbital Hall effect: A Model Study, Phys. Rev. B 103, 085113 (2021) Channel 7
16 2D magnetism of CrI3 – how density functional theory can be used to explain its magnetic properties? (pdf)
Xiuping Tao, Department of Chemistry, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC 27110
Xiuping Tao Video introduction (mp4) Channel 9
17 Computational Mineral Physics (ptx)
J. Zhuang, H. Wang, Q. Zhang, Z. Zhang, R. Wentzcovitch (Columbia University)
Jingyi Zhuang Channel 9
18 cij: A Python code for quasiharmonic thermoelasticity (ptx)
Chenxing Luo
Chenxing Luo Channel 10
19 Software Advances for Mineral Physics Applications (SAMPA) (pdf)
Qi Zhang (Columbia University in the City of New York)
Qi Zhang Here is our group webpage: Here is our GitHub organization: Channel 11
20 Ab-initio design of high-TC 2D superconductor: Mg2B4C2 monolayer (ptx)
Sobhit Singh^{1}, Aldo H. Romero^{2}, José D. Mella^{3,4}, Vitalie Eremeev^{6}, Enrique Muñoz^{7}, Anastassia N. Alexandrova^{8,9}, Karin M. Rabe^{1}, David Vanderbilt^{1}, and Francisco Muñoz...
Sobhit Singh Video introduction (mp4) Personal Website: Channel 10
21 Time-independent excited state electronic structure methods and applications to photoactive organic materials (ptx)
T. Kowalczyk (Western Washington University)
Tim Kowalczyk N/A
22 Neaton Group - First Principles Calculations (ptx)
E. A. Peterson, J. B. Neaton (UC Berkeley / LBNL)
Elizabeth Peterson Video introduction (mp4) Channel 11
23 Electronic and optical excitations of 2D BS and BSe and their heterostructure (ptx)
Jonah Nagura(ICTP), Ezekiel Oyeniyi(University of Ibadan)
Jonah Nagura Video introduction (mp4) Channel 8
24 Spintronic Property of NbRhGeX (X = Cr, Mn, Co, Fe, Ni): A Numerical Investigation. (ptx)
Akinpelu S. Babatunde, Adewumi I. Popoola , Agboola B. Samuel (FUTA)
Samuel Agboola Video introduction (mp4) Channel 12
25 Marco Buongiorno Nardelli's group at the University of North Texas (ptx)
Marco Buongiorno nardelli, Frank Cerasoli, Anooja Jayaraj and Kyle Sherbert
Cerasoli Jayaraj Channel 13
26 High-Throughput Computational Discovery of Thermoelectric Materials (ptx)
Lidia C. Gomes and Elif Ertekin. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lidia Gomes and Elif Ertekin Video introduction (mp4) Channel 13
27 Wolverton Research Group at Northwestern Univ. (ptx)
C. Wolverton
Chris Wolverton Channel 14
28 Griffin Group - Theory of Quantum Materials (ptx)
Isabel Craig (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley), Sinead Griffin (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Isabel Craig Video introduction (mp4) Channel 14
29 Computational Catalysis and Data-science for Sustainable Energy (ptx)
Michal Bajdich, SUNCAT Center, SLAC National Laboratory and Stanford University
Michal Bajdich Channel 15
30 Michel Côté's group at Université de Montréal (ptx)
Michel Côté (Université de Montréal)
Michel Côté Video introduction (mp4) Channel 22
31 Computational Chemistry: Applications, Theory, and Software (pdf)
Yihan Shao Research Group
Yihan Shao Channel 16
32 First-principles studies of the electronic structure of two dimensional (2D) materials (pdf)
N.F. Andriambelaza (University of Pretoria), N. Chetty (University of Witwatersrand)
Noeliarinala Felana Andriambelaza Video introduction (mp4) Channel 17
33 Structuring Intuition with Theory (ptx)
V. Carnevali and M. Fornari (Central Michigan University)
Virginia Carnevali Channel 16
34 First-principles based materials design and discovery (ptx)
V. R. Cooper, K. Pitike, S. R. Acharya
Valentino Cooper Video introduction (mp4) Channel 18
35 Band structure and Absorption spectra of Perovskite materials (ptx)
R.O.Agbaoye(FEDCODTTEN), Stephane Kenmoe (Uni-DUE),P.O. Adebambo, G.A.Adebayo (FUNAAB)
Ridwan Agbaoye Video introduction (mp4) Channel 17
36 Introduction to Fornari Group
M. Fornari (Central Michigan University)
Marco Fornari Video introduction (mp4) Channel 18
37 Computational Chemical- and Condensed Matter Quantum Groups (ptx)
M.R. Pederson, T. Baruah, and R. Zope, University of Texas at El Paso
Mark Pederson Channel 19
38 Promising photocatalytic performance and electronic properties of van der Waals Hetrostructure of ZnO-MoSSe (ptx)
Georgies Alene, Tekalign T. Debela, Girma Mekonnen
Georgies Alene Video introduction (m4v) Channel 20
39 Studying Materials Under Extreme Conditions (ptx)
Yaye Hamidou Badjo
Yaye Hamidou Badjo Channel 19
40 Tutors, Mentors, and Peers (ptx)
Richard Martin
Richard Martin Video introduction (mp4) Channel 21
41 Wentzcovitch Group (ptx)
Renata MM Wentzcovitch
Renata Wentzcovitch Channel 22
42 ICTP East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR) Rwanda (pdf)
Omololu AKIN-OJO
Omolulu AKIN-OJO Channel 15
43 Columbia Global Centers-Nairobi
Murugi Ndirango
Murugi Ndirango Channel 23
44 Quantum Dynamics Research @EAIFR (pdf)
Steve Ndéngue (EAIFR)
Steve Ndéngue Channel 23
45 Computational quantum mechanical studies of materials esp. renewable energy materials (pdf)
Bruno DANDOGBESSI Channel 20

Presenting a poster

Powerpoint template 331kb

Presenting a Poster: The poster session is VERY short so the posters need to give a brief introduction to ideas for collaboration between US and African researchers in electronic structure. If you would like to present a poster:

  1. By Monday March 8, 2021: Please upload your slide/poster (based on the template) to Poster Submissions Please keep in mind that in the posters, we would like to hear about work that could lead to collaborations, more so than details about how the research is performed. So this may be a different focus from other posters which researchers typically present at scientific conferences. We have prepared an example Powerpoint slide of the content we would like to hear about. Please use the template for the first slide; for an optional second slide you are welcome to use any format you want.
  2. By Friday, March 12th: Please submit a 30-second video recording of you introducing yourself, your poster and areas of interest. We will list the videos here. Because of the time difference and uneven Internet connections, having videos available viewable outside of live session will give more people the opportunity to hear your poster. There are several ways you can make a simple 30-second video:
    • With Zoom: A free "basic" Zoom account can be used to record. Simply start a meeting of one (you) and then you can record your screen and yourself speaking, if desired. The recorded meeting will be stored locally on your computer, in .mp4 format.
    • With Powerpoint: Many versions of Powerpoint can record video and audio, and combine them with Powerpoint slides onscreen. There are several tutorial videos on YouTube on how to do this, for example: YouTube video "How to Make a Video in PowerPoint - ppt to video
    • With your cell phone: Many cellphones can record short videos. If you would like to include a slide with a phone-captured video, email both to