Dr. Zou specializes in computerized modeling and simulation of the unusual properties of nanomaterials (materials with extremely small structures). Dr. Zou has studied how heat is transported in semiconductor nanostructures, such as nanowires, nanoscale thin films, and three-layered heterostructures. This subject is significant to scientists and engineers who need to understand how to manage the heat generated by electronic devices made from nanomaterials. Recently, Dr. Zou has expanded her research to include experimental study of heat conduction using Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM). Dr. Zou is also very interested in involving undergraduate students in computation-related research, such as using the Molecular Dynamics Simulation technique to study the properties of materials at the atomic level. Since 2005, Dr. Zou has mentored more than ten undergraduate students in research. Projects include the modeling and simulation of thermal conductivity in nanoscale thin films and heterostructures, the simulation of multi-planetary systems, the computational study of the kinetic theory of real gases, and the computer simulation of an atomic force microscope. The computational and experimental facilities in Dr. Zou’s group include five PCs, a 16-node computer cluster for parallel computing, computing software MATLAB and Mathematica, and a multimode Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) recently acquired through an NSF MRI award.