Where are you from and where did you complete your undergraduate studies?
I’m from San Ramon, California in the Bay Area by way of Arlington, Texas. I did my undergrad (c/o 2008) and M.Eng (c/o 2009) at MIT, left to work for a year, and came back to grad school in 2010 because I missed MIT so much. Kidding! Well, only sort of.
What is your research about and why are you excited about your projects?
I am currently a member of the Quantum Optical Communication group in RLE. My research is currently focused on evaluating the effects of atmospheric turbulence in free-space optical communication links. In addition to that project, I’m also interested in evaluating how non-maximally entangled quantum mechanical states can give us an extra oomph in terms of either the achievable data rate or achievable secure data rate when constructing quantum communication links.
I am REALLY excited about my research for THREE REASONS:
- I get to use my knowledge of physics and EE to push the boundaries of what regular classical communication theory tells us is possible
- My research is essentially IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE! which is awesome, as (almost) instant gratification isn’t a word a person typically associates with theoretical research. Well, where instant = on the order of 3-5 years. CLOSE ENOUGH.
- I get to do math/statistics/physics all day and GET PAID FOR IT. You jealous?
What do you like to do outside of research and academics?
Things I like to do:
- cooking (Indian food, Thai food, Vietnamese food, Chinese food) delicious ovo-lacto-vegetarian meals with the local produce I am due to get from my farm share! Hurrah.
- baking! I just got a copy of Tartine’s recipe book, and my goal for the summer is to conquer puff pastry and tart crusts. then, onto piped pastries!
- mandolin lessons – this is a future plan once my summer lessons start, but hopefully I’ll get proficient enough to play my favorite country and bluegrass tunes.
- reading copious amounts of science fiction and fantasy – I have a hunch that this is basically required for everyone who joins the EECS department. I KID! Mostly.
- reading COMIC BOOKS. Really, what better way to spend a day?
What are your career goals and future plans?
I’d like to end up in a national research lab or just any research lab, period, where I can keep working on quantum communication research and collaborate with other people in my field. Ideally, I’d like to join a startup since that would essentially combine the environment of smart people working on a bit of a time crunch with the bonus of building a product that would have to be economically feasible…but the economically feasible part is what throws a bit of a hitch in the plan, as it’s not easy to build a free-space optical communication link from scratch, much less one that utilizes nonclassical states. Hopefully that’ll be fixed soon.