Open Quantum Initiative Undergraduate Fellowship Research Symposium

When: Wednesday, August 17, 2022 8:00 am - 2:15 pm
Where: Atrium & ERC 161, William Eckhardt Research Center, 5640 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Description: Join the inaugural Open Quantum Initiative Fellows as they present summaries of their summer quantum information science and engineering research. The symposium will also include a career panel from leaders across academia, government, and industry and an opportunity to network with the OQI Fellows. CQE members and partners are invited to attend, meet the fellows, and share opportunities for the following summer.
Learn more about the Open Quantum Initiative Fellowship

8:00 am

9:00 am

Welcome and Keynote Address

David Awschalom, Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago; Senior Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory; Director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange 

9:20 am

Quantum Career Panel

  • Valerie Goss, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Chicago State University
  • Katayayani Seal, Technical Sales Engineer, Quantum Design International
  • Manish Kumar Singh, CEO, memQ
10:00 am Break
10:10 am

OQI Fellow Research Summary Presentations: Session 1 (More information below)

11:40 am Lunch – with informal participant discussions
12:30 pm

OQI Fellow Research Summary Presentations: Session 2 (More information below)

2:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Elizabeth Goldschmidt, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2:15 pm Program Ends

Meet the fellows:


Tiarna Marie Wise– Quantum Instrumentation Control Kit (QICK) for Optically Active Spin Qubits

Home Institution: Coppin State University

Major: Computer Science

OQI Institution: University of Chicago

Faculty Mentor: David Awschalom

Research Topic: Exploring the integration of software and qubit control hardware to implement coherent control of spin qubits in electrical devices. The implementation of control sequences requires synchronous control of optical, microwave, and electronic transitions, which will enable advanced quantum measurements in classical electronic device architectures.

Ekaterina Arutyunova– Investigating the Impact of Low-Energy Electron Beam Irradiation on Nitrogen-Vacancy Formation in Diamond

Home Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Major: Physics & Electrical Engineering

OQI Institution: University of Wisconsin–Madison

Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Choy

Research Topic: Conducting research on quantum sensing with rubidium atoms, and integrating photonic components with atomic magnetometry and gravimetry setups.

Photo of Daniels, Eric J'Ryan

Eric J’Ryan Daniels – Graphene-Encapsulated Argon as a Host for Point Defect Qubits

Home Institution: Stanford University

Major: Physics

OQI Institution: The Ohio State University

Faculty Mentor: Jay Gupta

Research Topic: Utilizing surface science techniques in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) to characterize and control the properties of individual quantum point defects. Qubit candidates including spin-labeled molecules and rare earth atoms will be introduced to 2D and quantum material hosts in UHV to realize enhanced coherence properties. Scanning tunneling microscopy will then be used to correlate coherence properties with the qubit local environment, including proximity to surfaces, interfaces and native point defects.

Alejandro Aponte

Alejandro Aponte – Development of an Imaging System to Aid the Creation of an Optical Quantum Memory Based on Rare-earth Atoms in Cryogenically Cooled Solid-state Host

Home Institution: Florida International University

Major: Physics

OQI Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Goldschmidt

Research Topic: Developing an optical quantum memory based on rare-earth atoms in cryogenically cooled solid-state hosts.

Gustavo Aldas – Nanoscale Magnetic Imaging Using Quantum Defects in Diamond

Home Institution: Passaic County Community College

Major: Electrical & Computer Engineering

OQI Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Faculty Mentor: Mikael Backlund

Research Topic: Developing and applying cutting-edge quantum sensing technologies based on laser-addressable, atom-scale defects in diamond to tease apart complex molecular systems relevant to biophysics, materials, and chemistry.

Adrian Portales – Development of a Methodology for Stacking Dissimilar Crystalline Materials to Make Quantum Devices

Home Institution: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Major: Mechanical Engineering

OQI Institution: Argonne National Laboratory

Faculty Mentor: Supratik Guha

Research Topic: Controlled spalling is a method of peeling a thin film from a brittle substrate using deposited nickel to induce shear stress within the substrate. This project relates the nickel electroplating conditions to the thickness and roughness of exfoliated thin films in a variety of substrates.  The long-term intent of this project is to develop a methodology for stacking dissimilar crystalline materials together to make quantum devices.

Joseph Oluwole – Qiskit Pulses and Transmon qubits in Quantum Computing

Home University: Chicago State University

Major: Computer Science

OQI Institution: Fermilab 

Faculty Mentor: Gabriel Perdue

Research Topic: Exploring a new paradigm for quantum computing – “qudit” based quantum computation. Most quantum computers use qubits as their computational primitives. However, it is possible to use different computational primitives – instead of two levels, why not N-levels? This changes the approach to algorithms and there may be interesting advantages in using N-level primitives, particularly if they are native to the hardware. Exploring using high-performance computing resources to construct operations on a qudit-based quantum information processor.

Healey Kogan – Fabry-Perot Test Cavity Development and Experimentation

Home Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Major: Engineering Physics

OQI Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Faculty Mentor: Jacob Covey

Research Topic: Design and construction of an optical table enclosure system for climate control of an atom tweezer experiment for quantum networking and computing, and an introduction to the tools and techniques used in quantum science research with laser-cooled atoms.

Kaytlin Faith Harrison – Pulse-level Quantum Computing of Collective Neutrino Oscillations

Home Institution: University of Wisconsin–Madison

Major: Physics

OQI Institution: University of Wisconsin–Madison

Faculty Mentor: Baha Balantekin

Research Topic: Exploring the entanglement of neutrinos in compact objects by simplified models which can be implemented in near-term noisy quantum computers starting with simulations on Qiskit, then moving on to cloud quantum computers and to a neutral atom system under development.

Louisa Mary Kaplan – Tunneling Current in Hexagonal Boron Nitride Measured by Conductive AFM

Home Institution: The College of William & Mary

Major: Physics

OQI Institution: The Ohio State University

Faculty Mentor: Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin

Research Topic: Exploring the properties of molecular materials for quantum information science and engineering (QISE). These systems have an intrinsic appeal for QISE in that modern chemistry provides us a toolbox that allows atomic-engineering of electron wavefunctions, including their coherence properties, and then duplicating that structure 10^23 times with atomic precision. Building and measuring quantum devices that incorporate molecular spin qubits into solid-state devices.

Cody Castle – Automation and Development of Diamond Membrane Delamination Process

Home Institution: Wilbur Wright College

Major: Computer Engineering

OQI Institution: Argonne National Laboratory

Faculty Mentor: Joseph Heremans

Research Topic: Quantum sensing platforms need to be specifically developed for quantum sensing applications through materials synthesis and materials characterization. These steps involve a systematic approach to optimize the development of new materials platforms. Such efforts are currently done manually using well established materials characterization techniques. The goal of this project is to identify areas of QIS experiments that would benefit greatly from the automation of specific experimental tasks and develop rapid characterization techniques. Including automation and development of our new diamond membrane delamination process.

Ariadna Fernandez

Ariadna Fernandez – Optimizing the Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) for the LAS-UCC Ground State Energy Estimation Algorithm

Home Institution: University of Illinois Chicago

Major: Computer Science

OQI Institution: University of Chicago

Faculty Mentor: Laura Gagliardi

Research Topic: Performing electronic structure calculations on molecular systems that could be employed as molecular qubits. Learning the foundations of quantum chemistry for quantum computers and performing simple calculations on a quantum simulator.