Mollie Schwartz, PhD, is a technical staff scientist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. She works at the forefront of quantum computing, using superconducting quantum circuits as a platform to explore scalable quantum algorithms and architectures. Mollie designs and probes aluminum circuits that, when cooled down to within a few thousandths of a percent of absolute zero, behave like artificial atoms. Unlike atoms, whose dipole moment is only angstroms in length, these circuits can be macroscopically sized (hundreds of microns, or even millimeters in size). This orders-of-magnitude increase in intrinsic coupling allows for fast manipulation and measurement, two critical components of any quantum process. This technology is one of the most promising and fastest-growing modalities for quantum technology development.
Mollie was awarded the NSF Graduate Fellowship and the Hertz Foundation Fellowship to pursue her graduate work in the Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory at UC Berkeley. There, she used superconducting circuits to explore the fundamental physics of quantum-limited measurement. Mollie is generally interested in exploiting the many uses of light-matter interactions, or cavity quantum electrodynamics, for engineering system Hamiltonians and generating and stabilizing quantum resources.
Prior to graduate school, Mollie graduated as the salutatorian of the class of 2009 from Columbia University with a BA in chemical physics. Her research accomplishments there included collaborating in the first infrared spectroscopy of graphene, and uncovering fundamentally new dynamics that govern the propagation of a chemical reaction in two-dimensional vortex-dominated flows. Following her undergraduate studies, she spent two years at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), a federally-funded research and development center in Washington, D.C. that is tasked with providing technically-grounded, nonpartisan policy analysis to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her time at STPI gave her valuable insight into the role that science plays (and the limitations of that role) in helping to craft thoughtful policy.