Physics Careers Seminar: "From Atoms to Qubits: My Career Journey from Illinois to IBM"

Speaker Dr. David McKay, Research Staff Member, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, IBM Quantum
Date: 5/6/2021
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Via ZOOM - see description for link
Event Contact: Pei-Wen Tsai and Lance Cooper
Sponsor: Department of Physics
Event Type: Seminar/Symposium

Abstract: In this talk I will overview my career journey starting as a graduate student at Illinois in 2006 to now, as a manager and researcher at IBM Quantum. As a part of this journey, I performed graduate research in two countries, shifted topical area in my postdoc (from AMO to superconducting qubits) and made the transition to industry. I hope to share some of my experience and lessons learned. I will give a very brief overview of superconducting qubits and what it’s like to work as a quantum computing researcher in industry.

Bio: Dr. David C. McKay is a research staff member and manager at IBM Quantum in Yorktown Heights, NY where he has been since 2015. At IBM he has focused on two-qubit gate development for superconducting qubit devices and various topics in quantum characterization, calibration and verification. He was involved in several aspects of IBM’s open source quantum software project, Qiskit, including the development of the characterization package (“Qiskit Ignis”) and the language for full time-dependent control of qubits (“Qiskit Pulse”). Prior to IBM, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago in the group of Prof. David Schuster where he researched novel couplers for superconducting qubits. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois, splitting time at the University of Toronto, where he studied ultracold Bosons (Rb-87) and Fermions (K-40) in optical lattices.

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