Thursday, 22 February 2018 15:31

Quantum Materials boot camp Featured

Grad students and postdocs will take intensive, two-week plunge into quantum materials growth and nanoscale science this June.
Poster Session Overhead QS3 2017 Web
Students participate in a poster session, one of two during Quantum Science Summer School, 2017. Photo courtesy of Prof. Joseph Checkelsky.

Now entering its second year, the NSF/DOE Quantum Science Summer School (QS3) will offer approximately 40 graduate students and postdocs a mix of classroom style lectures, technology enabled learning and team challenges to delve deeper into the future of quantum science and technology. This year’s theme is “Fundamentals and Applications of Quantum Materials.” The program will be held from June 10-22, 2018, on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., with faculty from multiple institutions, including MIT.

An important component of QS3 is its interdisciplinary nature, bringing together researchers from the fields of materials science, condensed matter physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. “Teaching the fundamentals of quantum science and their impact in the context of quantum information and new quantum technologies requires an approach that reaches across traditional boundaries – this school is an opportunity to bring students together with this goal in mind,” says MIT Assistant Professor of Physics Joseph G. Checkelsky, who is one of the program organizers and a member of its faculty.

Because the program is envisioned as a four-year sequence, with a different focus each year, participants in the first session held in June 2017 at Johns Hopkins University, which focused on quantum computing, were encouraged to reapply. “The possibility of building a cohort of quantum scientists and engineers in this process may itself be a legacy for the program,” Checkelsky explains.

IBM Quantum Experience QS3 2017
IBM’s Douglas McClure [standing, left rear] and Antonio Corcoles [standing, right foreground], coach summer 2017 Quantum Science Summer School students during a session on programming the IBM Quantum Experience computer. Groups worked together to run quantum calculations. McClure and Corcoles are with IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Photo courtesy of Prof. Joseph Checkelsky.

Last year, participants remotely operated a quantum computer housed at IBM guided by IBM scientists using the Quantum Experience. This year they are expected to synthesize and characterize quantum materials at Cornell including with the NSF PARADIM research center as well as explore science opportunities at Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs). “Whereas previously students were focused on the theory, operation, and future development of quantum computers, this summer is more about the quantum materials of which new quantum devices might be built,” Checkelsky says. “The students will finish the school having studied quantum materials starting from their crystal and electronic structure and ending with their actual synthesis and characterization.”

Students will have the opportunity to do density functional theory [DFT] calculations, which are high-level computational methods to simulate materials, and to visualize crystal structures in both software and 3D printed hardware models.

The summer school has a large component of traditional lectures, but will also feature interactive learning sessions inspired by the active learning approach as used in the MIT physics Technology Enabled Active Learning [TEAL] classroom, which features a student audience response system. “Engaging students by having them participate in these sessions gives them another opportunity to consider the large number of concepts that the school presents,” Checkelsky says.

The third year in 2019 will be hosted at the Pennsylvania State University. QS3, which is jointly funded through the National Science Foundation [NSF] Convergence Initiative and the U.S. Department of Energy, is distinct from the NSF Department of Materials Research-funded summer lab experience program through the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials [CIQM].

QS3  received about 200 applications by the Jan. 31, 2018, deadline for 40 available slots. Accepted students will be notified in the weeks to come.

Machine Learning Session QS3 2017 Web
2017 Quantum Science Summer School students work together in teams during a Google interactive session on Machine Learning. Photo courtesy of Prof. Joseph Checkelsky.

This summer’s faculty speakers include:

N. Peter Armitage, Professor of Physics, Johns Hopkins University
Leon Balents, Professor of Physics, University of California-Santa Barbara
Judy Cha, the Carol and Douglas Melamed Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Yale University
J.C. Seamus Davis, James Gilbert White Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences, Cornell University, and Brookhaven National Laboratory
Feliciano Giustino, Professor of Materials, Oxford University
Jacob Ruff, Staff Scientist, Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source
Darrell Schlom, Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Cornell University
John M. Tranquada, Principal Investigator, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Inna Vishik, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of California-Davis.

Program organizers are: Joseph G. Checkelsky, assistant professor of physics, MIT; Natalia Drichko, associate research scientist, physics and astronomy, Johns Hopkins University; Lawrence C. (1944) and Sarah W. Biedenharn Career Development Associate Professor of Physics Liang Fu, MIT; Kyle Shen, associate professor of physics, Cornell University; and Jun Zhu, associate professor of physics, Pennsylvania State University. The program receives additional support from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.back to newsletter

Denis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory
February 26, 2018