Greetings everyone, and welcome back to the Silhouette of Science after a 3 year (has it really been that long?!?!) hiatus. I know it’s no excuse but life has been pretty busy since getting back from CERN. Sophomore, Junior and Senior year flew by. Maybe I was just kind of lazy? But actually, so much has happened, and I’m going to try to sum everything up as quickly as possible so I can get to the SCIENCE!!! in the next post.
The tl;dr version is “Quantum”. Sophomore year I took my first official quantum mechanics course and wrote an article for the Yale Scientific Magazine on Quantum Cryptography. That summer I interned at Reservoir Labs, a software engineering company in NYC, where I worked on implementing a “preconditioner” to make equations nicer in Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (LQCD). When I returned to Yale for my Junior year, I began conducting research with Professor Liang Jiang at the Yale Quantum Institute, figuring out how to reliably transmit quantum states across vast distances. I also took professor Jiang’s grad class on Quantum Computing, and decided to spend the summer up in Canada (ay?) at the Institute for Quantum Computing. While in the 51st state surrounded by geese I immersed myself in the literature of Topological Quantum Error Correction (I know it’s a mouthful), and somehow came out with both a software package, QTop, and my first ever scientific publication. YAYYYYYYY!
The remainder of my undergraduate career was a hodgepodge of projects related to quantum physics, from philosophy of quantum mechanics to representation theory in quantum computing to quantum machine learning. Oh, and somewhere in there I managed to do some liberal arts.
Yale gave me four of the best years of my life, but it’s now time to move on – in this case, Westward. In September I’ll be heading to Stanford to begin my PhD in Theoretical Physics. Someone is paying me to think about physics all day long in a warm-weather paradise, how much better can it get?
Stanford sets up incoming PhD students with a rotation system, so my first year I’ll have a chance to work in multiple research groups. To begin with, I’ll be working in Ben Lev’s group trying to build a “quantum perceptron”, and the second quarter I’m hoping to join Patrick Hayden in studying black holes, quantum entanglement, and the structure of spacetime.
In future posts I’ll describe some of my own research, and try to introduce you to the quantum world, but for now that’s enough about me. As a good friend of mine and an even better physicist, Jason Parisi would say, “I look forward to collapsing your wave function”.