Peter Salamon

Peter Salamon served as TSRC's first Chairman of the Board and President from 1984 through 1987, and has organized almost an average of one workshop per year since 1984. A professor in the mathematics department at San Diego State University since 1980, he has also held visiting positions at Tel Aviv University, University of Coopenhagen, University of Heidelberg, and the Hebrew University.

At the age of ten, Peter emigrated with his family from Hungary to the United States. He grew up in Chicago, and eventually attended the University of Chicago, where he got his PhD in chemistry in the research group of R. Stephen Berry. As a result, he got his introduction to Colorado workshops as a graduate student in Aspen. The impetus for starting workshops in Telluride originated when the Aspen Center for Physics schedule did not have room for a thermodynamics workshop in their 1984 program. With encouragement from Steve Berry, he organized the first Telluride workshop in 1984 and incorporated TSRC as a non-proft shortly thereafter in January 1985.

Peter managed most of the early logistics and administration of TSRC, from negotiating the first meeting space at the Telluride high school in 1984 to applying for grants to recruiting new organizers. "I went to Telluride January of 1984 to make arrangements for the first workshop," writes Peter. "Karma Denton at Telluride Central Reservations gave a lot of help for arranging housing. The school principal (Cleve Pemberthy?) let us use the school facilities for free. The first workshop lasted three weeks and had 18 participants. Around the second week of the workshop, I went to James Craft, an attorney in town to start the process of officially incorporating TSRC as a non-profit, so I guess that is when I became president. That fall, on Steve's suggestions, I visited Bill and Tina Reinhardt in Philadelphia and showed them enough pictures of kids playing in beautiful scenery to convince them to come as a family. In 1985, there were three workshops. I believe this is also when Wendy Brooks and the Telluride Academy took over from Central Reservations to coordinate our housing. The workshops were on finite-time thermodynamics, clusters and nonlinear dynamics. I had some student support from the American Chemical Society, which kept Darius Brooks and some other local high school students doing some science and lots of xeroxing."

Ever adventurous, Peter and his then 4-year-old daughter Anna left from Alta Lakes, five-miles south of Telluride, one summer morning in 1985 to hike up Palmyra Peak at 13,251 ft, and then walk back to Telluride descending more than 4,000 ft.. They made it back at 2:00 a.m. the next day, after half the workshop participants combed the mountains for them. This spirit of “exploring interesting directions” has been a hallmark of all the TSRC workshops he has organized and led to a format he pioneered of picking apart one hour talks in four hour sessions.

"I filed the first year's taxes with the IRS, but did a miserable job and Bill volunteered the summer of 1985 to take over as treasurer. In 1986, there were again the same three workshops as well as a simulated annealing workshop. I served as president until January of 1987, when Bill took over."

Nearly every one of TSRC’s 370 workshops held since 1984 has been housed in a Telluride School District classroom. Starting with one room in the old cinder block high school, moving to the historic elementary school, and then to the current location of the newer Intermediate School (where thankfully the circuits don’t blow), TSRC has always been a little “hard” on the school. “The year was 1986,” writes Peter Salamon. “We were able to use the high school’s computers for the third year in a row, thanks to sympathetic school administration and a sympathetic computer science teacher, Irwin Wetzel. We even got to use the principal’s personal computer, which we moved from the school to the house Jerzy Bernholc was renting. The computer suffered a disk crash and although we spent many hours with Norton utilities trying to recover what we could for him, he lost about half of his files. Our access to the school’s computers became more limited after this event. It took 21 years for the school to grant TSRC access to their computers again.

"In 1988, I ran a neural networks workshop. In the early nineties, I co-organized three computational molecular biology (genome stuff) workshops which were funded by DOE. I was also doing thermo workshops, which by then were organized by Bjarne Andresen and Karl Heinz Hoffmann. I vividly recall Bill and Tina's wine and cheese parties, which replaced the BBQ's during Bill's reign. They had a Camelot feel to them. The rest gets hazy."

The immense influence TSRC has had on his scientific development since he was a young scientist has made him a staunch believer in keeping the Telluride workshops financially accessible to graduate students and postdocs. To honor Peter's lasting contribution to TSRC, in 2008 the Board of Directors established a scholarship for young scientists in his name.

October 2008, Peter Salamon, TSRC Co-Founder, Professor of Mathematics, San Diego State University

Paul Barbara Scholarship Awardees


  • Manuela A. Gross, University of Cambridge, England
    Her research interests include renewable and sustainable energy sources, production of solar fuels, and green chemistry. Other areas of research include biomimics and bioinspired catalyst design, organometallic chemistry and transition metal catalysis.
  • Sebastian Buchenberg, Albert-Ludwig-University, Germany
    His main scientific interest is the connection between fast time scale vibrational energy transport and slow time scale signal transport.


  • Timothy Duignan, Australian National University, Australia
    His research involves developing models of ion-ion and ion-surface interactions in water using an implicit solvent model. The aim is to explain and predict the properties of electrolyte solutions, which play a vital role in a huge number of biological and industrial applications. 
  • Nicholas Jackson, Northwestern University, USA
    His research focuses on the interplay of conformational and electronic properties in conjugated polymers, using classical and quantum simulations to study aggregation solubility and charge generation in organic photovoltaics.


  • Rebecca Swett, Wayne State University, USA
    Her research involves the design of bioinformatics software to correlate a gene region of interest to disease phenotypes. By searcing for region-restricted single nucleotide polymorphisms across multiple genome wide association studies, it is possible to find scientifically investigable mutations in any protein, RNA, or gene of interest.
  • Tomas Solomek, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
    His research is devoted to the study of reaction mechanisms and the development of new photoremovable protecting groups; his interests encompass experimental and theoretical photochemistry and the chemistry of reactive intermediates, especially open-shell biradicals.


  • Natasha Hodas, Rutgers University, Department of Environmental Sciences, USA
    Research: Refining estimates of human exposure to particulate air pollution in order to reduce error in health studies. Specifically, the development, evaluation, and implementation of a method to estimate indoor concentrations of outdoor-generated particles.
  • James J. Shepherd, University of Cambridge, The University Chemical Laboratory
    Research includes the theoretical development of novel electronic structure techniques to describe solid state systems using plane-wave wavefunctions. In particular, using Ali Alavi's full configuration interaction quantum Monte Carlo to make progress toward exact solutions to the homogeneous electron gas Hamiltonian.


  • Christina Marie Ragain, University of Texas at Austin
    Research: The Role of Electrostatics in Binding Discrimination Investigated by Vibrational Stark Effect Spectroscopy
  • Tanyana Gennadyevna Terentyeva, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium)
    Research: Single Molecule Study of Enzyme Kinetics
Peter Salamon Past Awardees


  • Konstantinos Tsekouras, Indiana University-Perdue University, Indianapolis, USA 
  • Ivan Coluzza, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Félix Mouhat, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France
  • Muhammad Shahbaz, University of Delaware, USA
  • Alexander Kunitsa, Boston University, USA
  • Alexander Edelman, University of Chicago, USA
  • Fabio Revuelta, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
  • Igor Schapiro, IPCMS-CNRS, France
  • Sarah Lucas, University of Minnesota, USA


  • Shujie Shi, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Andrew Frierdich, University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
  • Tuguldur Odbadrakh, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Paul McGonigal, Northwestern University, USA
  • Frank Pickard, National Institute of Health, USA
  • Blake Rankin, Purdue University, USA
  • Srinivas Somarowthu, Yale University, USA
  • Florentina Tofoleanu, National Institutes of Health, USA
  • Zhe Peng, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
  • Robert Parrish, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Mangesh Chaudhari, Sandia National Lab, USA
  • Joshua Goings, University of Washington, USA
  • Benjamin Goehler, University of Muenster, Germany
  • Brian Alberding, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA
  • Frank Boldt, Technische Universitaet Chemnitz, Germany 


  • Tommy Byrd, College of William and Mary, USA
  • Sudeshna Chanda, Indian Institute of Techonology, India
  • Naveen Dandu, Los Alamos National Laboratory and North Dakota State University, USA
  • Chaowen Guo, Texas Tech University, USA
  • William Fellows, Georgia Tech, USA
  • Michal Hapka, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Oleksandr Loboda, Université de Lorraine, CNRS, SRSMC UMR 7565, France.
  • Anne Marsden, University of Chicago, USA
  • Anca Meffre, CNRS - INSA Toulouse, LPCNO, France
  • Leonardo A. Pachon, University of Antioquia, Colombia
  • Tsai Hung Ming, Texas Tech University, USA
  • Shanavas Veedu, University of Missouri, USA


  • Abdel Alli, Emory University, USA
  • James Allan, University of Manchester, England
  • Chris Gorski, Eawag, Switzerland
  • Emilie Guidez, Kansas State University, USA
  • Mikko Huttunen, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
  • Julio Palma, Arizona State University, USA
  • Niccolo Peruzzi, University of Florence, Italy
  • Zachary Pozun, University of Texas, USA
  • Tamar Stein, Fritz Haber Center for Molecular Dynamics, Israel


  • Aditi Borker, Cambridge University, England
  • Jeff Bowman, University of Washington, USA
  • Szilard Fejer, Univesity of Szeged, Hungary
  • Amanda Fossard, Scripps Institution of Oceanographym USA
  • Jason R. Green, Northwestern University, USA,
  • Scott Gruenbaum, University of Wisconsin, USA
  • Niel Henriksen, University of Utah, USA
  • Matthias Heyden, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • Tatyana Kuznetsova, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA
  • Andrew Miklos, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
  • Olena Postupna, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA
  • Laura Riccardi, Freiburg University
  • Benjamin Saenz, Stanford University, USA
  • Michael Yonkunas, Rush University Medical Center, USA
  • Joel Yuen, Harvard University, USA


  • Purushottam Dixit, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Cary Boyd, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Edward Hohenstein, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Yana Kholod, Iowa State University, USA
  • Giridhar Nandipati, University of Central Florida, USA
  • Salomeh Tabatabaei, Rice University, USA
  • Cheng Zhang, Rice University, USA


  • Ryan Hulscher, University of Puget Sound, USA
  • Keehyoung Joo, Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Korea
  • Jooyoung Lee, Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Korea
  • Suzanne Kern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Vanja Klepac-Ceraj, Harvard Medical School, USA
  • Oliver Lipscombe, University of Tennessee, USA
  • Steven May, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • William Pfalzgraff, University of Puget Sound, USA
  • Kaspar Sakmann, Uni Heidelberg, Germany
  • Nickolay Shestopalov, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Aubrey Weigel, Colorado State University, USA
  • Yuedong Yang, University of Indiana, USA
  • Michael Yonkunas, Carnegie Mellon, USA
  • Jingfen Zhang, University of Missouri Columbia, USA


  • Albert DeFusco, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • An Ghysels, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Lelia Hawkins, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
  • Jaegil Kim, Boston University, USA
  • Revati Kumar,  University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Shang Liu, University of California San Diego, USA
  • Yilin Meng, University of Florida, USA
  • Sara Quaytman, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA
  • Rachel Schwartz, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
  • Prasesh Sharma, University Tuebingen, Germany
  • Daniel Sindhikara, University of Florida, USA
Telluride Science Research Center
Post Office Box 2429, Telluride CO 81435
Tel: + 970.708.4426
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