Brenda Rubenstein

Contact information:

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue, L-413
Livermore, CA 94550
phone: 925-423-4534
fax: 925-423-5733


Brenda's research revolves around developing novel quantum Monte Carlo techniques capable of studying systems in which quantum statistics assume a pivotal role. Over the past few decades, a number of mean field theory-based techniques, Density Functional Theory (DFT) chief among them, have grown exceedingly popular as economical ways of determining the properties of quantum materials. Despite their popularity — and success, these techniques often trade accuracy for computational efficiency. In contrast, quantum Monte Carlo techniques promise much higher levels of accuracy for only a modest increase in computational cost. Brenda's research aims to develop the theoretical and algorithmic tools necessary for making quantum Monte Carlo a practical option for many electronic structure, low-temperature, and/or high-pressure calculations. While at the lab, Brenda hopes to apply the algorithms she develops to the study of hydrogen plasmas and the actinides.


  • Ph.D., Chemical Physics, Columbia University (2013)
  • M.Phil., Theoretical Chemistry, University of Cambridge (2008)
  • Sc.B., Chemical Physics, Brown University (2007)
  • A.B., Applied Mathematics, Brown University (2007)

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Lawrence Fellow, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2013)
  • Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow (2008)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2008)
  • Churchill Fellow (2007)
  • Goldwater Scholar (2006)

Recent publications:

Rubenstein, B.M., Zhang, S., and D.R. Reichman. Finite-Temperature Auxiliary-Field Quantum Monte Carlo Technique for Bose-Fermi Mixtures. Physical Review A. 86: 053606 (2012).

Rubenstein, B.M., Coluzza, I. and M.A. Miller. Controlling the Folding and Substrate-Binding of Proteins Using Polymer Brushes.Physical Review Letters108:208104 (2012).

Rubenstein, B.M., Gubernatis, J.E., and J.D. Doll. Comparative Monte Carlo Efficiency by Monte Carlo Analysis. Physical Review E.82: 036701 (2010).

Rubenstein, B.M. and L.J. Kaufman. The Role of Extracellular Matrix in Glioma Invasion: A Cellular Potts Model Approach.Biophysical Journal95:5661-5680 (2008).