Profile picture

Priya Darshan Vashishta

Dean's Professor in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics and Astronomy


  • 1960, Bachelor's Degree, Physics, Agra University
  • Doctoral Degree, Physics, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur


Priya Vashishta is a professor of materials science, computer science, and physics and astronomy at USC, and director of the Collaboratory for Advanced Computing and Simulations. He has edited or co-edited 11 books and is the author or co-author of more than 390 papers on topics that include high-performance computing, computer-aided design of high-temperature materials, multimillion-atom simulations of materials and devices, the bio-nano interface, and the immersive and interactive visualization of billion-atom systems.

Vashishta and his research team explore the effects of extreme conditions on everyday materials. This research has led to newer and better-designed products, ranging from components for computer chips to materials less susceptible to corrosion and oxidation.

Vashishta, his USC colleagues Rajiv Kalia and Aiichiro Nakano, and their research team use supercomputers to simulate the atomic and molecular behavior of materials. Most of their research has been on materials and nanoscale processing—finding ways to minimize the brittle fracturing of ceramic materials or designing novel electronic devices. The team has developed unique simulation algorithms and software that allow for large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and the interactive and immersive visualization of billions of atoms. These large-scale simulations produce big data that cannot be analyzed without powerful visualization tools.

Vashishta is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a devoted educator, mentoring students from underrepresented groups through an annual computational science workshop he organizes for undergraduates.

Research Summary

Vashishta previously taught at LSU where he was the Cray Professor of Computational Science, a post he assumed after years as a senior research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. A fellow of the American Physical Society, he has edited or co-edited 10 books and is the author or co-author of more than 240 papers.


  • 2010 University of Southern California Associates Award for Creativity in Research
  • 2007 Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Senior Faculty Research Award 2007
  • 1999 Fellow of Professional Society
  • Dir-Center, Collaboratory for Advanced Computing and Simulations
  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science
  • VHE 606
  • Vivian Hall of Engineering
  • 3651 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 242
Contact Information
  • (213) 821-2663