Prof. Topper is a theoretical chemist. His research is primarily in the areas of nanoscience, inorganic chemistry, and biophysical chemistry, using computational and theoretical methods. He is currently carrying out collaborative projects with the Tuckerman group at New York University which include the use of machine learning methods to help predict and analyze molecular thermodynamic properties. Current interests also include the formation of inorganic nanoparticles in polluted marine atmospheres and proton transfer phenomena within these particles.
Prof. Topper and his group have also worked on problems in reaction rate theory, transport theory, nonlinear dynamics, Feynman path-integral quantum thermodynamics of high-temperature gases, materials property simulations, reactivity trends in substituted bicyclic thioacetals, and chemically-induced DNA damage by environmental mutagens (polyaromatic hydrocarbons and aromatic amines).
Together with his students and colleagues, Prof. Topper has published 56 peer-reviewed manuscripts, learning objects, and conference abstracts; written and co-authored 4 book chapters; organized 5 international scientific conferences; and given 19 invited seminars at colleges, universities, conferences, and high schools. His group currently has a research grant for computing resources from Gridchem (sponsored by the National Science Foundation, grant #0438312).
Prof. Topper teaches freshman, junior, senior and graduate-level courses in general, physical, and inorganic chemistry. He is the faculty coordinator for Ch 111, the freshman general chemistry laboratory course (an introductory course in quantitative analysis). He also directs engineering students in independent research, including graduate students in chemical engineering.
In 2009 and again in 2012, he was honored by Cooper Union's students when he was named to the Engineering Student Council's "Student's List." http://pioneer.cooper.edu/2013/03/04/students-list-list-professors/