Department of Scientific Computing, Florida State University "Origins of Computational Polymer Science"
I trace the origins of polymer science from the mid-1850s, when it resembled a practice or art, to the early 1950s, just as computers emerged on the scene. The early days were dominated by “engineers”, who were interested in the applications of these materials. In 1907, the first synthetic polymer (Bakelite) was patented, which ushered in an era in which organic chemists dominated the discipline. Around the mid-1930s, the interesting properties of these materials started attracting the attention of theorists, who developed quantitative theories to link the structure and properties of polymers. Not long thereafter, these theories became too difficult to solve analytically. As computing power became available, polymers were among the first materials to be studied using Monte Carlo methods.