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  1. Strong electron correlation plays an important role in transition-metal and heavy-metal chemistry, magnetic molecules, bond breaking, biradicals, excited states, and many functional materials, but it provides a significant challenge for modern electronic structure theory. The treatment of strongly correlated systems usually requires a multireference method to adequately describe spin densities and near-degeneracy correlation. However, quantitative computation of dynamic correlation with multireference wave functions is often difficult or impractical. Multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT) provides a way to blend multiconfiguration wave function theory and density functional theory to quantitatively treat both near-degeneracy correlation and dynamic correlation in strongly correlated systems; it is more affordable than multireference perturbation theory, multireference configuration interaction, or multireference coupled cluster theory and more accurate for many properties than Kohn–Sham density functional theory. This perspective article provides a brief introduction to strongly correlated systems and previously reviewed progress on MC-PDFT followed by a discussion of several recent developments and applications of MC-PDFT and related methods, including localized-active-space MC-PDFT, generalized active-space MC-PDFT, density-matrix-renormalization-group MC-PDFT, hybrid MC-PDFT, multistate MC-PDFT, spin–orbit coupling, analytic gradients, and dipole moments. We also review the more recently introduced multiconfiguration nonclassical-energy functional theory (MC-NEFT), which is like MC-PDFT but allows for other ingredients in the nonclassical-energy functional. We discuss two new kinds of MC-NEFT methods, namely multiconfiguration density coherence functional theory and machine-learned functionals. 
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  2. The molecules 1,4-cyclohexadiene (unconjugated 1,4-CHD) and 1,3-cyclohexadiene (conjugated 1,3-CHD) both have two double bonds, but these bonds interact in different ways. These molecules have long served as examples of through-bond and through-space interactions, respectively, and their electronic structures have been studied in detail both experimentally and theoretically, with the experimental assignments being especially complete. The existence of Rydberg states interspersed with the valence states makes the quantum mechanical calculation of their spectra a challenging task. In this work, we explore the electronic excitation energies of 1,4-CHD and 1,3-CHD for both valence and Rydberg states by means of complete active space second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2), extended multi-state CASPT2 (XMS-CASPT2), and multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT); it is shown by comparison to experiment that MC-PDFT yields the most accurate results. We found that the inclusion of Rydberg orbitals in the active space not only enables the calculation of Rydberg excitation energies but also improves the accuracy of the valence ones. A special characteristic of the present analysis is the calculation of the second moments of the excited-state orbitals. Because we find that the CASPT2 densities agree well with the CASSCF ones and since the MC-PDFT methods gets accurate excitation energies based on the CASSCF densities, we believe that we can trust these moments as far as giving a more accurate picture of the diffuseness of the excited-state orbitals in these prototype molecules than has previously been available. 
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  3. null (Ed.)