CQE Student Feature – Charles Yuan  

Research group: Programming Systems Group

Faculty name: Michael Carbin

Hometown, Country: Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Academic History Prior to coming to MIT: B.S. in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon

What brought you to MIT? I knew that when it came to my graduate studies, I wanted to find a place radically different from my prior experiences that would challenge my previous ways of thinking. MIT provides that perfect environment, alongside the resources needed to pursue big and risky ideas.

What interests you the most about your research? The fact is that whenever I mention to someone that I study quantum computing, their immediate reaction is a mixture of curiosity and terror. My research, which lies at the intersection of quantum information and programming languages, aims to demystify the quantum world for classical computer scientists. It also aims to indicate the challenges that we must overcome to turn quantum advantage from a theoretical algorithm into an executable computation. It is exciting to work on a topic that I view as instrumental to the ultimate success of the technology that will redefine computation.

What are you future plans? Though my plans are constantly in flux, I’m interested in continuing in academic research. I’m also interested in finding opportunities to work with practitioners building the largest hardware systems today in industry, where scale and efficiency will increasingly matter as more systems come online.