J. Caleb Wherry bio photo

J. Caleb Wherry

Scientist. Engineer. Musician.

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I spent this summer doing research at two amazing research facilities: the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo (UW) and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI), both of which are in Waterloo, ON, Canada. I meet a lot of amazing people and worked on some really cool projects as well. In this post series I will document the whole summer and provide links to the people I worked with and the research I did. I will try and be as thorough as time permits when describing the research problems I worked on. I will also provide links to papers of similar research in the fields so that interested readers can dig further than my explanations permit!

Where to start… I suppose I can start with why I wanted to come to IQC in the first place. It all started about a year and a half ago. I was working as a Research Assistant at CalTech & NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Origins of Stars and Planets group studying astrophysics stuff. I have an obsession with finding new and interesting summer or week long programs to do so I would constantly search the net for these type of things. In my search I came across a program at MIT called QuISU in Quantum Information Science. So, I applied and I got in! While I was there, a few of the other students had just finished a 2 week program at IQC called USEQIP. I told myself I would apply to that for the next summer so when the time came, I did. And I got accepted! What was nice about this program was that there was an internship attached to it as well. I just had to decide who I wanted to do research with and decided on the Deputy Director of IQC: Michele Mosca. He is a Computer Scientist, as I am, so I thought we would jive quite nicely. I waited to see if Mike wanted to do research with me before I accepted the position. This took almost 2 months and in the process I got offers from 3 NASA centers, IBM, and LLNL. I had to decline all of these in hopes that IQC was going to pull through for me. And it so happens that it did (I will not go into the administrative issues that I ran up against but they were considerable! Helpful hint: if you are applying for a work visa, apply many months in advance!)

I will not mention anything about USEQIP because you can follow the link above and read about it!

Once USEQIP was over, I met with Mike and we talked about my interests and his and we came up with a few interesting projects. He mentioned another person that he would like me to work with, Aliocia Hamma, at PI. I was then appointed a Research Assistant at PI and was pretty thrilled! I was getting to work at two amazing places, the summer was turning out to be great!

I do not want to stop here, but I must. I have to travel back to TN soon so I will be splitting this post up into 2 (maybe 3) posts. I hope to finish them within the week so be watching for the rest!