Curious about Quantum?
Student organization wants to help you learn more
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Quantum computing has the ability to revolutionize research in STEM fields. Quantum computers are still in their earliest stages of development, but they hold promise for finding solutions to complex problems that involve many interacting variables and can tackle incredibly complex tasks quickly, processing vast amounts of data that would take a normal computer millions of years to complete.
The Quantum Information Science Society at UIC is hosting lectures this fall that are open to all UIC students, to provide a glimpse into this exciting technology, and the types of jobs available in the industry. Quantum technologies are expected to impact numerous sectors, including health care, financial services, defense, and cyber security.
“I want to get as many students in on this as possible,” said Caleb Williams, the club president. “I hear students saying they think quantum has nothing to do with their field of study. But it uses skills they’ve already built.”
The Chicago metropolitan area is at the heart of this growing field, and UIC’s electrical and computer engineering department is quickly establishing itself as a leader in addressing all aspects of quantum computing: from conducting research on the latest software, hardware, and materials to educating the department’s graduate and undergraduate students to be the quantum workforce of the future.
The Chicago Quantum Exchange has been nurturing the growth of the quantum ecosystem and serves as an intellectual hub for leading academic researchers, top scientific facilities, and innovative industry partners to advance quantum information, train the next generation of quantum scientists and engineers, and drive the quantum economy.
Russell Ceballos, the associate director of curriculum and education partnership at the Chicago Quantum Exchange, will be a guest speaker of the Quantum Information Science Society on Tuesday, October 3rd. He will present an overview of what a quantum communication network is, and what applications would be possible if we had access to such a quantum internet.
Ceballos is developing and supporting quantum-focused programs that foster a culture of inclusivity in quantum information science and engineering for students from historically underserved and underrepresented communities.
UIC shares this goal. On August 22, UIC announced that ECE faculty Thomas Searles, Zizwe Chase, and Daniela Tuninetti will lead a new national consortium, ReACT-QISE, aimed at educating the next generation of quantum engineers and providing pathways into the quantum computing workforce for groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.
“Quantum computing has the potential to completely revolutionize how we interact with the world around us and, in particular, how we approach problem-solving in scientific disciplines like physics, computer science, chemistry, and engineering,” said Searles. “And we have a billion-dollar industry in our backyard.”
Williams hopes to help broaden participation in quantum. He has been a member of the quantum club for a few years, assuming leadership when the previous president graduated in May. Williams said the club has about 50 members, and additional students participate on the club’s Discord channel. He hopes more students from all majors will consider joining or attending one of the club’s upcoming seminars.
A dual physics and electrical engineering major, Williams had a series of summer internships that piqued his interest in the field. He conducted undergraduate research under experimental condensed matter physicist Nadya Mason at UIUC in 2022 (this fall, she is moving to the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, where she will serve as dean). Over this year’s summer break, Williams participated in the Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Processing, a program led by the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
In addition to Ceballo’s seminar, the Quantum Information Science Society is hosting Armando Pauker, the managing director of Tesility Venture Partners, and judge for the Duality Accelerator, the first U.S. program focused exclusively on quantum startups. That seminar will be held on October 6th.
Upcoming Quantum Information Science Society seminars (open to all students)
Tuesday, October 3 at 6 p.m. in the Engineering Innovation Building (EIB) room 124.
Meeting ID: 945 0144 9528 Passcode: 839006
Friday, October 6, at 11 a.m., in Lecture Center C, room C1.