CQE Student Feature – Lamia Ateshian 

Research group: Engineering Quantum Systems Group

Faculty name: MIT-CQE Director, MIT Prof. William D. Oliver

Hometown, Country: New York, NY, USA

Academic History Prior to coming to MIT: B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering and certificate in Engineering Physics, Princeton University

What brought you to MIT? In undergrad I got to experience research in a variety of areas, including RF metamaterials, integrated photonics, and soft matter dynamics. One of my internships was in Prof. Andrew Houck’s lab at Princeton doing simulations for circuit QED systems, and that’s when my interest in quantum systems started. Eventually I figured out I wanted to continue research in this area and circled back to working on superconducting qubits at MIT.

What interests you the most about your research? Noise is one of the most important problems facing superconducting quantum systems today, since it limits qubit coherence times and thus our ability to carry out many fast, accurate operations on a quantum processor. I’m studying the fundamental sources of noise impacting our qubits, the microscopic physics of which is not yet well-understood. I really enjoy having an exploratory aspect to my research while also getting to work with highly controllable, well-engineered quantum devices. Using “macro”-scale circuit elements means having a large design space in which to tailor specific quantum dynamics, and that allows us to explore all sorts of interesting experiments in quantum optics and mesoscopic physics as well as engineer better devices for quantum information processing.