Student Spotlight

Engineering Quantum Systems Group: Leon Ding

Recently Leon Ding of EQuS won the 2020 IBM PhD Fellowship Award and will be conducting a collaborative research project with an IBM mentor over the course of the next year.

Research group name:

Engineering Quantum Systems (EQuS)

Hometown, Country: 

Blaine, Minnesota

Academic History Prior to coming to MIT: 

I graduated from Caltech in 2017 with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in Computer Science. Afterwards, I spent one year working at Trex Enterprises in San Diego. 

What brought you to MIT? 

After undergrad, I wanted to pursue research in quantum computing. To me, MIT was a wonderful place for physics and quantum computing as well as welcome change in scenery. In the end, I was attracted to do research in the Engineering Quantum Systems (EQuS) lab under William. D. Oliver. 

What problem are you trying to solve with your current research?

In the EQuS lab, I have investigated how flux noise impacts superconducting quantum circuits. Flux noise is one of the main contributors to decoherence in superconducting qubits, and by altering the geometry of the SQUID, improvements can be realized in any tunable qubit. 

Moving forward, I am interested in high-fidelity two qubit gates utilizing more novel qubits and tunable couplers. 

What interests you most about your research? 

The development of technologies for quantum computing is incredibly exciting to me. Quantum mechanics is such a mysterious and unintuitive part of science and the ability to control quantum systems to such a high degree is both challenging and astounding.

What activities do you enjoy outside of your research?

My favorite activity outside of research is swimming. I’ve swam competitively from middle school through college and ever since it’s been an uncompromisable part of my health and work life balance. I also enjoy playing super smash bros. melee for the Nintendo gamecube. 

What are your future plans?

I would like to continue doing research in the field of quantum computing. I am currently open to both industry and academia.