Quantum Journey 5: Good News
I never really had the motivation to do personal projects until I had no time to do personal projects.
I’m writing this after having spent 5 hours failing to get the right Thevenin Voltage measurement on my breadboard, AND I have a weird craving to watch fight compilations from Dance Moms. However, it’s Sunday! So, it’s time to recap my week and what I accomplished in exploring Quantum Information.
Some small updates
- My IEEE Quantum Week Ticket was purchased by the College of Engineering, so I’m officially registered! I’ll be doing 2, 4.5 hour tutorials (Hardware Control: A Hands-on Introduction, and 2. Introduction to Quantum Computing Serious Games) and a workshop on superconducting qubits.
- My Grace Hopper Conference ticket was also purchased! I didn’t make it in time to register for both quantum workshops I wanted to attend, but I did get signed up for: What You Need to Know About Quantum Computing for Scientists, Engineers, and Developers.
- My dad brought home Peruvian food for lunch.
- I found this Women in Quantum Computing group and they have weekly virtual tea group meetings. Hopefully, I can attend this upcoming week if it doesn’t interfere with any work meetings.
- I created a Github Repository with all my Qiskit code. It’s not 100% updated, but it has Lab 1 from the Qiskit Summer School, Chapter 1 from the Textbook (my chapter 2 Jupyter notebook was deleted because I lack common sense), and it has some of the work we did in this week’s Quantum Information Club Meeting.
Call with Aziza
As we know by this point in the blog, Aziza is an MIT researcher and the ultimate “hot girl” mentor in my life. We had a chance to talk this Wednesday and although it was mostly informal, I realized that I never asked her how she originally got into quantum hardware. Apparently, she was a sophomore in college when she realized she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life (sound familiar?), and her fortune teller voodoo gypse counselor suggested grad school. She applied to a few REU’s and realized she liked research and specifically, quantum hardware!
I’ve been starting to think that applying to REU’s could be really cool. I have it mentally planned out that if I don’t find anything else I’m as excited for in the chaos that is the fall tech industry job recruitment cycle, then I’ll apply to a few summer research opportunities. I am helping plan out the Graduate Student Panel for the Quantum Information Club, so maybe I’ll learn something from attending that.
Update on Physics Minor
I realized that the physics department at my school is notoriously not-so-good (sorry Thomas, Drew, and Mason), so I think I’ll stick to self-studying the quantum physics basics I want to learn for right now.
I never really had the motivation to do personal projects until I had no time to do personal projects. My latest project has been an interactive web app to teach people about Quantum Information by going through the basics in different disciplines. This was inspired by my conversation with Kevin who told me that it’s important to have a “common language” between the people you’re working with since research labs are no longer just physicists doing theoretical work and they’ve since become more collaborative of different educational backgrounds.
So, instead of doing any of my classwork, I started building this website! It was also an opportunity to gain an understanding of things I didn’t quite understand, specifically physics. I spent quite a bit of time this week trying to understand black body radiation, bohr-orbitals, Schrodinger’s equation, and all the other key experiments that taught us that classical physics doesn’t check out at tiny scales. I understand that this is the main takeaway (and that a lot of relationships are linear and that energy levels are quantized and.. blah blah blah), but I feel like I don’t actually understand what’s happening in these experiments.
I told myself that I’d have to quit prioritizing personal projects when I start my Lenovo job (tomorrow) because I should focus on school and work, but… I don’t know. I kind of want to figure out this website. We’ll see.
Instead of QC 101, Quentin and I taste-tested macaroons from a stranger living on campus.
Quantum Information Club
This week, the Quantum Information Club at NCSU held a workshop led by 2 graduate students working as researchers at the QHub. They spoke really concisely and ran through Schrodinger’s Equation, superposition, entanglement, the quantum computer stack, single qubit gates, multi-qubit gates, and more before running us through a program in Qiskit.
Obviously I added the guy who spoke about hardware on LinkedIn. We’re getting virtual coffee tomorrow!!
The whole time Quentin and I were texting how happy we were that we actually understood what was going on. I was also super excited that someone was talking about hardware. I did learn a few new things, but most everything was an extension of what was covered before.
I did try going through the second section of the Global Summer School notes but didn’t make it very far into the first lecture before realizing I was just copying things down without processing the information. This week was less quantum computing than the ones before and really I just want to focus on finishing up the site. I start working 20 more hours a week starting tomorrow and although I’m hyped as heck about my internship being extended, it does mean I’ll have more on my plate.
But… On top of Lenovo, the Engineering Career Fairs happening Monday-Wednesday, and everything else I usually have going on, I’ll also have more specialty dorm macaroons on my plate this week :)
Goals for next week:
- Finish the Physics portion of the site
- Fix the formatting on the site
- Redo chapter 2 of the Qiskit textbook and push it to my Github repository