QuIST trainees headed to new positions

QuIST trainees

QuIST trainees headed to new positions

UC Davis Quantum Information Science and Technology programs trained over a 100 students last year, from high school to postdoctoral stage. We asked graduating students to reflect on their QuIST experiences. Here is what they had to say.

Alexander Yue

high school researcher en route to Stanford University undergraduate program in physics

My experience with Quantum Information Science and Technology (QuIST) at UC Davis began with the classes EEC189L and EEC289L which I took to further understand my research of spin qubit arrays. These courses expanded my knowledge, gave me experimental connections for my research, and created a new passion for quantum computing.

With this motivation, I collaborated with my classmates from EEC289L to reinvigorate the quantum computing club at Davis. Through this club we offered resources and opportunities in quantum computing and hosted an exciting, learning-filled environment, epitomized by our three-day hackathon where we created quantum-inspired games.

I have regularly attended the weekly condensed matter seminars for the past two quarters. Each speaker’s insights gave me a deeper appreciation for the research in this field.

The knowledge and skills I've garnered from EEC189L, EEC289L, and the condensed matter seminars have greatly benefitted my research, and we successfully published our group's paper. In the future, I plan to continue to explore quantum computing in Stanford’s undergraduate program. There, I will delve into quantum computing classes and take part in interesting research.

I am excited to carry my leadership experience from QCAD into a new environment. I hope to join the Stanford Quantum Computing Association and improve the quantum computing experience for undergraduate students. I'm grateful for the doors QuIST has opened for me, and I am eager to aid in opening those doors for others.

Eliana Mann

physics undergraduate en route to Harvard University PhD program in quantum optics

In winter and spring quarters of my third year of college I took EEC189L and EEC 289L respectively with Professor Radulaski. These classes were my initiation into quantum information science, and served as a great overview of many ideas in the field. Prior to these classes, I had tried to walk myself through the textbook Quantum Computation and Information by Nielsen and Chuang and teach myself Qiskit. While I learned a lot from these resources, they failed to help me see the big picture of quantum computing, and I was definitely losing interest in the field before I found the QuIST classes. From my perspective at the time, Quantum Information was too niche to pursue, and I felt isolated in my interest in it. I’m so grateful Professor Radulaski directed me to her classes, and I was able to be re-introduced to QC in an engaging and approachable way. Perhaps most importantly, her classes showed me that there was a vibrant and diverse community on campus with my same academic interests.

I continued my involvement in QuIST activities through attending and helping with the colloquia series, taking a leadership role in the Quantum Computing at Davis Club, and assisting with research in Professor Radulaski’s Lab. The QuIST community at Davis is relatively new and uniquely open and friendly, and in my experience that made it easy for me to take on leadership positions and responsibilities that made me feel like a true member of the community. I have learned a lot from engaging in QuIST classes and colloquia as well as my research. This fall I will begin my PhD at Harvard studying quantum optics, and I largely have the Davis QuIST community to thank for most of the research and leadership opportunities I’ve had that have prepared me for graduate school.

Trevor Clarke

physics undergraduate en route to Purdue University PhD program in atomic, molecular and optical physics

Although I have been impacted by various programs at UC Davis, such as the URC and my home department, I can confidently say that programming within the QuIST network and the continuous support from mentors associated with the program have had the most significant influence on my personal academic and professional development as I prepare to pursue a Ph.D. this fall.

My involvement with QuIST dates back to the early iteration of the Quantum Computing Club, where I had the privilege of being introduced to researchers and attending lectures from academia and industry. These discussions focused on developments in quantum materials, quantum computing, and other important topics in the field of quantum information science. Looking back on that time, I was a naïve first-year student with little to no understanding of the technical details discussed. However, the creation of a space where students like myself could explore a variety of topics and develop an intuition for key skills, emerging technologies, and career advancement opportunities proved to be invaluable.

As the years passed, including the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, my initial connections through QuIST allowed me to branch out and pursue research endeavors. I had the opportunity to work in the Scalettar group for Computational Physics, where I developed models of color center systems for quantum computing. Additionally, I participated in an internship through the SLI program at SLAC, where I designed infrastructure to facilitate the next generation of quantum computers.

While I have had numerous mentors throughout these past four years, the experiences offered by QuIST at UC Davis, including coursework, seminars, research opportunities, and education symposia, along with the network it provides, create a unique environment that few students nationwide have access to. I strongly encourage students in STEM and even those outside the typical STEM fields to consider taking advantage of these experiences while they can. There is no doubt that in the near future, there is bound to be a surge in demand for individuals with quantum knowledge and awareness.

King Lin

mathematics undergraduate en route to University of Southern California masters program in quantum information science

My journey in Quantum Information Science and Technologies (QuIST) started as a result of finding a career path that integrates my interest in three broader fields: Mathematics, Quantum Physics, and Computer Science. Although this path I chose started late in my junior year, I was able to engage in Quantum Science coursework and research in my fourth year. During the Fall quarter of 2022, it was brought to my attention of the special topics courses EEC 189L: Quantum Computing and EEC 289: Quantum Information Technologies, and without hesitation I reached out to Professor Radulaski about registering for the course. My engagement in these two courses has taught me the significance of QuIST and allowed me to explore deeper into QuIST. Additionally, my project in numerical simulation of Quantum trajectories (supervised by Professor Fraas) has deepened my understanding of how Quantum systems behave. After graduating from UC Davis, I will be continuing on this journey at the University of Southern California toward a Masters in Quantum Information Science.

Samuel Petruescu

physics undergraduate en route to San Jose State University masters program in quantum technology

During my senior year as an undergraduate in the Physics department, I was first introduced to the field of quantum computing through EEC 189L. This course, taught by Professor Radulaski, served as an introduction to any student interested in diving into the world of quantum information sciences, and is what kickstarted my quantum journey. This course helped teach me invaluable skills and gave me the experience that provided me with the opportunity to eventually work as a Junior Researcher doing research in this exciting field. This course has rigorous standards and unique opportunities to discuss not only the technical aspects of the quantum industry, but also hear from current professionals about their journey and their research. In addition to this course, I also began attending the quantum computing club meetings on campus after graduating. It was encouraging to see so many vibrant undergraduates who were passionate and eager to learn about quantum computing. Since then, I have been applying these skills to my research as a junior researcher and have just finished my current project. With the manuscript nearing completion, I will be publishing this research paper in the coming weeks. My next step is a masters in quantum technology at SJSU, and although I have come a long way and learned a lot, it all started with the QuIST initiative at UC Davis.

Ariadna Venegas-Li

physics PhD student en route to industry

My first memory of involvement with QuIST was a four-person meeting where we were trying to figure out a good format for a journal club that would stimulate discussion between theorists, experimentalists, and researchers working in different areas of quantum information. It has since grown into a diverse and engaging community. Thanks to QuIST activities I have developed and increased my excitement about current quantum research and I have gained a much more solid understanding of the challenges that experimental quantum scientists face. This community continues to enrich my understanding of the field and helps me advance my research on quantum-state stochastic processes. I am excited to see how QuIST continues to grow and serve as an interaction Hamiltonian for many more scientists.

David Gier

physics PhD student en route to industry

Through QuIST research talks and discussions with the QuIST community I've learned about a broad cross-section of exciting experimental and theoretical research in quantum information. Its interdisciplinary nature has challenged me to understand ideas (particularly experimental techniques) that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. These interactions were crucial in shaping my dissertation research on the physics of quantum information processing.