Zhen Chao, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Interests:

Numerical solution of partial differential equations

  • Finite difference methods

  • Finite element methods

  • Boundary element methods

Computational Biology

  • Mathematics models for ion channel proteins

  • Molecular Dynamics

  • Mesh generation

Numerical Linear Algebra and Scientific Computing

  • Preconditioners for Krylov subspace methods

  • Iterative methods for large-scale sparse linear system

Educational & Professional Experience:

Assistant Professor, Western Washington University. December 2023 - current.

Postdoctoral Assistant Professor,  University of Michigan. Mentor: Prof.  Robert Krasny. Aug. 2020-Dec. 2023.

Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics,  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Advisor: Prof.  Dexuan Xie.  Sep. 2016-July  2020.

Recent Publications

  1. Hwi Lee, Zhen Chao, Harris Cobb, Dexuan Xie, Yingjie Liu, A PNP ion channel deep learning solver with local neural network and finite element input data. Submitted, 12/30/2023. arxiv version 

  2. Zhen Chao, Weihua Geng, and Robert Krasny, Integral equation method for the 1D steady-state Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations. Journal of Computational Electronics,  2023, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10825-023-02092-y.

  3. Zhen Chao, Cong He, and Jingchun Chen, Dispersive Estimates for Kinetic Transport Equation in Modulation Spaces.  Filomat, 481 (2023)  9587-9593. 

  4. Dexuan Xie and Zhen Chao, A Poisson-Nernst-Planck single ion channel model and its effective finite element solver. Journal of Computational Physics, 481 (2023) 112043. [download PDF]

  5. Zhen Chao, Sheng Gui, Benzhuo Lu, and Dexuan Xie,  Efficient Generation of Membrane and Solvent Tetrahedral Meshes for Finite Element Ion Channel Calculation,  International Journal of Numerical Analysis and Modeling,  April 2022.

  6. Zhen Chao and Dexuan Xie,  An Improved Poisson-Nernst-Planck Ion Channel Model and Numerical Studies on Effects of Boundary Conditions,  Membrane Charges, and Bulk Concentrations, Journal of Computational Chemistry, 2021,[download PDF]. This paper was featured on the cover of the journal [cover page].

  7. Dexuan Xie and Zhen Chao.  A Finite Element Iterative Solver for an Improved PNP Ion Channel Model by Neumann Boundary Condition and Membrane Surface Charge, Journal of Computational Physics, 423 (2020), 109915. [download PDF] 

  8. Zhen Chao, Dexuan Xie, and Ahmed Sameh. Preconditioners for nonsymmetric indefinite linear systems. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 367 (2020) 112436. [download PDF]

Selected Awards & Honors:

  • AMS-Simons Travel Grants, American Mathematical Society, $5,000, 2021-2023, Role: PI.

  • SIAM Early Career Travel Awards, $500, SIAM, 2020.

  • Morris and Miriam Marden Award in Mathematics, $600,  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2020.

  • AMS graduate student travel award,  American Mathematical Society, 2020.

  • Chancellor's Graduate Student Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,  $5,000,  2018-2019.

  • Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, $1,7000,  2018-2019.

  • Research Excellence Reward, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, $3,000, 2016-2018.