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People News

JQI and PFC scientists go places. They travel around the world to talk about quantum information. JQI graduate students and postdoctoral scientists move on to other institutions, often expanding quantum research. Read about this and more in People News. To submit items, email eedwards@umd.edu.

A man wearing glasses stands in front of green shrubbery.
September 13, 2022 | People News

Recent Physics Grad Sees Many Roads Ahead

As Jeffrey Wack (B.S. ’22, physics; B.S. ’22, mathematics) walked across the graduation stage in May 2022, he carried with him a lot of uncertainty about where to go next. His trepidation came from his voracious curiosity for a broad range of things, primarily within physics and math—the subjects of his two degrees—but also from his interests in teaching, outreach and music. The prospect of having to pick just one path forward felt confining to Wack.

Jade LeSchack, a woman with brown hair and wearing a black top, stands in front of windows.
September 12, 2022 | People News

Diving into UMD’s Quantum Community

In 2021, when Jade LeSchack was a high school senior imagining herself at potential colleges, she was already entranced by physics—quantum physics in particular. After taking high school physics classes and an online course on quantum computing, she wanted to explore the world of physics more fully. 

Man in a blue button up shirt in front of various electrical and optical pieces of lab equipment.
June 17, 2022 | People News

JQI Alum Receives International Early-Career Award

Pablo Solano, a former graduate student at JQI and current assistant professor at the University of Concepción in Chile, has been named a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Azrieli Global Scholar. Solano is one of 18 researchers selected this year from more than 200 applicants to receive support from the program.

Elizabeth Bennewitz in a black top stands in front of red and clear windows.
May 18, 2022 | People News

JQI Graduate Student Receives DOE Fellowship

Elizabeth Bennewitz, a first-year physics graduate student at JQI and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), has received a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. Bennewitz is one of 33 recipients in 2022—the largest number of students this program has ever selected in a year.

Bringewatt in a white shirt and blazer stands in front of a projector screen showing a slide that says "Entangled Quantum Sensors for High Precision Measurements" and shows basic graphics.
April 15, 2022 | People News

JQI Grad Student Wins UMD Three-Minute Thesis Competition

No scientist is an island. Good researchers must communicate complex ideas clearly to their colleagues and, to really excel, they must explain their research to students and the public as well. Good communication skills help scientists to show the significance of their work and to share valuable new ideas. But stripping away the technical vocabulary and focusing on the important details that reveal the overarching picture are difficult skills to master.

Alicia  Kollár wearing glasses and a blue and white plaid shirt in front of red and clear windows.
March 30, 2022 | People News

JQI Fellow Kollár Bridges Abstract Math and Realities of the Lab

Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize-winning mathematical physicist, once said, “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.”

Indeed, mathematics may seem abstract or even irrelevant until it’s used to describe the natural world around us. The reverse is occasionally also true: Physical realities, when brought to a mathematician’s attention, can inspire new questions and new discoveries. 

Michael Winer in a plaid shirt and jeans sits in a wooden lawn chair.
March 23, 2022 | People News

Growing into a Physicist at UMD

Physics can sometimes come across as the business of cold, calculating geniuses. But it can often be joyful, fun, competitive, engaging and more. Physicists are normal people and each of them has a unique and evolving relationship with their discipline.

Elizabeth Bennewitz in a black top stands in front of red and clear windows.
February 18, 2022 | People News

JQI Graduate Student Is Finalist for Hertz Fellowship

Elizabeth Bennewitz, a first-year physics graduate student at JQI and QuICS, has been named a finalist for a 2022 Hertz Fellowship. Out of more than 650 applicants, Bennewitz is one of 45 finalists with a chance of receiving up to $250,000 in support from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation.

Alicia  Kollár wearing glasses and a blue and white plaid shirt in front of red and clear windows.
February 15, 2022 | People News

JQI Fellow Kollár Awarded Sloan Research Fellowship

JQI Fellow Alicia Kollár has been awarded a prestigious 2022 Sloan Research Fellowship. This award is given to early career researchers by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to recognize distinguished performance and the potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Each fellowship provides $75,000 to support the fellow’s research over two years.

A photo of Nicole Yunger Halpern at a whiteboard
February 2, 2022 | People News

Nicole Yunger Halpern Ponders Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Everything Else

There is a well-known saying, of disputed origin, that dissuades students and even working physicists from thinking too deeply about the meaning behind quantum physics. “Shut up and calculate,” it goes. Nicole Yunger Halpern, an affiliate of JQI and the newest Fellow of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), was never one to abide by this mantra.

Jay Sau sets in an office in front of a picture frame and framed artistic representation of the Latin alphabet.
January 14, 2022 | People News

Sau Named UMD Co-Director of JQI

JQI Fellow Jay Sau has been appointed the newest University of Maryland Co-Director of JQI. He assumed the role on January 1, 2022.

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