The Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) is pleased to announce that the 2017–2018 Claude E. Shannon Research Assistantship has been awarded to Yuezhen Niu, a doctoral student in the Physics Department.

Ms. Niu’s doctoral research is co-supervised by RLE PIs Isaac Chuang, Professor of Physics, Professor of Electrical Engineering and leader of RLE’s Quanta Group, and Jeffrey Shapiro, the Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering and leader of the RLE’s Optical and Quantum Communications Group.  Ms. Niu is recognized this year for her significant accomplishments and outstanding promise in the rapidly developing intersection of photonic quantum computation, quantum error correction, and nonlinear quantum optics.

Yuezhen, who prefers to be known as Murphy has already made many notable contributions to her chosen field. She designed the periodically-poled KTiOPO4 crystal that was used by Dr. Franco Wong’s team in a record-setting experiment for generating high-purity single photons. She closed an open problem in entanglement-based, high-dimensional quantum key distribution (HDQKD) with her coherent-attack security proof for the dispersive-optics HDQKD system that is under development in Professor Dirk Englund’s group. She showed that quantum computation’s famous Grover search algorithm could be turned to new use for high-efficiency generation of photon pairs that could enable many applications in quantum sensing. Most recently, she has devised all-optical architectures for quantum computation, and new hardware-efficient quantum error-correcting codes for mitigating these new architectures’ primary error mechanism, photon loss.

Claude E. Shannon, the father of information theory, served on the MIT faculty as a member of the Electrical Engineering and Mathematics departments, and the Research Laboratory of Electronics from 1956 until 1978. After Prof. Shannon’s death in 2001, his wife, Betty Shannon, launched a MIT fund in his memory to support students doing research in communication. A subsequent donation from Dr. Richard Barry made additional support possible. This year’s recipient was selected by a committee consisting of Professor Vincent Chan, Professor Jeffrey Shapiro, Professor Lizhong Zheng (Committee Chair), and RLE Director Marc Baldo.