Jianfeng Lu


James B. Duke Distinguished Professor

Jianfeng Lu is an applied mathematician interested in mathematical analysis and algorithm development for problems from computational physics, theoretical chemistry, materials science, machine learning, and other related fields.

More specifically, his current research focuses include:
High dimensional PDEs; generative models and sampling methods; control and reinforcement learning; electronic structure and many body problems; quantum molecular dynamics; multiscale modeling and analysis.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • James B. Duke Distinguished Professor
  • Professor of Mathematics
  • Professor of Physics
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 242 Physics Bldg, 120 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 2875
  • Email Address: jianfeng@math.duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Princeton University, 2009

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Feng Kang Prize of Scientific Computing. Chinese Academy of Sciences. 2023
  • IMA Prize in Mathematics and its Applications. Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. 2017
  • CAREER Award. National Science Foundation. 2015
  • Sloan Research Fellowship. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 2013
  • Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship. Princeton University. 2008

Courses Taught

  • PHYSICS 590: Selected Topics in Theoretical Physics
  • MATH 690-70: Topics in Applied Mathematics
  • MATH 690-60: Topics in Numerical Methods
  • MATH 660: Numerical Partial Differential Equations
  • MATH 631: Measure and Integration
  • MATH 555: Ordinary Differential Equations
  • MATH 493: Research Independent Study
  • MATH 393: Research Independent Study
  • MATH 391: Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Li, B; Lu, J, Quantum space-time Poincaré inequality for Lindblad dynamics (2024) [abs].
  • Fang, D; Lu, J; Tong, Y, Mixing Time of Open Quantum Systems via Hypocoercivity (2024) [abs].
  • Lu, J; Wu, Y; Xiang, Y, Score-based transport modeling for mean-field Fokker-Planck equations, Journal of Computational Physics, vol 503 (2024) [10.1016/j.jcp.2024.112859] [abs].
  • Loring, TA; Lu, J; Watson, AB, Locality of the windowed local density of states, Numerische Mathematik, vol 156 no. 2 (2024), pp. 741-775 [10.1007/s00211-024-01400-3] [abs].
  • Bierman, J; Li, Y; Lu, J, Qubit Count Reduction by Orthogonally Constrained Orbital Optimization for Variational Quantum Excited-State Solvers., Journal of chemical theory and computation, vol 20 no. 8 (2024), pp. 3131-3143 [10.1021/acs.jctc.3c01297] [abs].