All Activities

Ben May grants for 2021

The 2021 Ben May grants for theoretical and/or computational research will offer up to three grants this year.

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Scientific Areas: Theoretical and/or computational research performed in the Faculty of Chemistry.

Eligibility: Senior Scientists or higher rank, in the Faculty of Chemistry.

More information

Mini-symposium on phase separation in cells

In January 2020, the Center co-sponsored a mini-symposium on phase separation in cells, organized by Weizmann faculty member Prof. Sam Safran from the Department of Chemical and Biological Physics. The event featured talks by scientists from the Weizmann Institute, as well as from the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Planck Society of Dresden, Germany. 

To the program


Conference: The CISS effect

In January 2020, the Ben May Center supported a conference that focused on the chirality induced spin selectivity (CISS) effect. Discovered by Prof. Ron Naaman of the Department of Chemical and Biological Physics over 20 years ago, the CISS effect offers a fundamental insight into how energy or information moves through proteins—the biological “wires” that conduct electrons through living organisms.

Attended by 23 invited scientists from the US, Europe, and Israel, the gathering took place at the Leonardo Boutique Hotel, near the Weizmann Institute campus, and featured short presentations and group discussions about the impact of the CISS effect on the future of chemical, physical, and biological research. 


Read More about Conference: The CISS effect

Mini-Course: Modeling Materials

The intensive one-week course ״Modeling Materials: Continuum, Atomistic and Multiscale Concepts and Techniques״ combines theoretical and hands-on experiences dedicated to the modeling and simulation of materials from the atomic scale to the macroscopic.
The course was scheduled to take place on the Weizmann campus from June 21-25, 2020, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, it took place virtually from August 16-27, 2020.

Dedicated to the modeling and simulation of materials from the atomic scale to the macroscopic, the online course covered a broad range of topics, such as setting up and running molecular statics simulations with LAMMPS to calculate bulk properties; setting up and running molecular dynamics simulations to understand thermostats and barostats; FEM simulation of beams; and QC method simulations of nano-beam bending. The course was attended by 40 advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Course description
Modeling Matrials Website

Better simulation of bio-based phenomena

Prof. Yaakov (Koby) Levy from the Department of Structural Biology studies cellular self-organization processes such as protein folding, protein-protein assembly, and protein-DNA recognition. A newly installed GPU cluster used by the Levy lab improves the computational modeling of these very complex biological phenomena. In tandem with improvements in software design, Prof. Levy relies on this advanced infrastructure for temporal sampling—the computational observation of a model system that evolves over time. The new platform also provides better visualization and analysis of simulation results.

Chinese Computational Science Delegation

In December 2019, the Ben May Center hosted a delegation of leading computational scientists from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Beijing Computational Science Research Center, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and five top Chinese universities. The aim of this visit was to explore future academic exchange and scientific collaborations in physics, chemistry, and biology, and possibly the establishment of a close and long-term cooperative relationship between science research institutions in the two countries.

Upgrading the infrastructure

The Weizmann Institute Chemfarm—a massive resource of computing power—supports data-heavy investigations related to materials science, classical and quantum physics, structural biology and genetics, environmental research, and more. The Ben May Center recently undertook a major upgrade to available computational infrastructure, focusing on the addition of GPUs—graphics processing units. State-of-the-art GPUs can perform over 500 billion arithmetic operations per second, which is 10 to 100 times faster than heavily optimized CPU-based implementations.

Mini-course on BEC and the Gross-Pitaevskii equation

Between May 13-16, 2019, the Ben May Center hosted a series of three lectures by Prof. Sergey Nazarenko, an expert in non-linear physics associated both with the University of Warwick, UK, and the L’Institut de Physique de Nice, a division of France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Prof. Nazarenko’s lectures focused on a variety of hot topics in non-linear science, including the computational analysis of systems which can appear chaotic, unpredictable, or counterintuitive. Non-linear problems are of great importance to research because they help us characterize the dynamics of wave-based phenomena. Among other issues, Prof. Nazarenko’s lectures addressed the Gross-Pitaevskii equation, de Broglie waves, and wave turbulence models.

Ben May lecture series

The Ben May Lecture Series is a framework in which outside experts in computational chemistry and related disciplines come to the Weizmann Institute campus to share their knowledge. The first featured speaker in this series was Prof. Daniel (Daan) Frenkel of the University of Cambridge, UK. Prof. Frenkel is a Dutch computational physicist who has achieved worldwide acclaim for his contributions to the statistical-mechanical understanding of the kinetics, self-assembly, and phase behavior of soft matter.  In his lecture, Prof. Frenkel focused on the problem of “addressable complexity”—the challenge of creating complex, self-assembled devices in which individual components can find their place within a 3D structure.