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Dr. Dimitrios A. Papaconstantopoulos ranked as one of the World’s Top 2% Scientists by Stanford University

Dr. P

The CDS department congratulates a pioneer of research, Dr. Dimitrios A. Papaconstantopoulos, professor emeritus, who was recently included in the World’s Top 2% Scientists 2020 ranked by Stanford University; a team led by Dr. John Ioannidis. George Mason’s president, Dr. Gregory Washington, made the list as well. The report includes over thirty College of Science faculty and affiliates, who have been ranked for their publications, citations and their lifetime contributions to their fields of research.

Dr. Papaconstantopoulos’ s (known to students and faculty as Dr. Papa) research is in the area of computational materials science and covers calculations of the electronic and mechanical properties of matter. These calculations are based on the principles of quantum mechanics and are used to understand the properties of various elements and alloys and predict new ones. The results are important to lead in technological advances which are used in electronic devices such as found in home equipment, cars, phones etc.

Dr. Papa started teaching physics at George Mason in 1967.  He left George Mason in 1977 to work as a Research Scientist and Center Director at the Naval Research Laboratory. He returned to GMU in 2005 as Chair of the CDS department, as chair he orchestrated the development of what is now the Computational and Data Sciences degree program. It was during this time that he was the voice for a growing department that needed his leadership. Dr. Papa retired from teaching in 2016.

Dr. Papa continues to work on his research. His research includes work on the phenomenon of superconductivity, the property of materials displaying zero resistance to the passage of electric current. This property occurred in the past at very low temperatures (similar to what we hear today about the Covid-19 vaccine), however recent discoveries show room temperature superconductivity in hydrogenated elements such as sulfur and lanthanum under high pressure conditions. This is the subject of some of his recent papers. He is also writing a book on compounds containing hydrogen as one of their components.

The accolades of international recognition for Dr. Papa are well deserved.  He has also kept an affinity to the department started under his guidance.  CDS has been the fastest growing department in the College of Science for the past several years, and it is one of the few departments in the nation that offers Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees in the field of computational and data sciences. Before the pandemic, Dr. Papa would occasionally pop in on the Chair of CDS just to make sure that the department was growing in the right direction in a fast-changing field.  His guidance and contributions to science are greatly appreciated.

From all of us in CDS, “Congratulations, Dr. Papa!”