The “Whole Elephant”: Part by Part
A Tribute to the Vision and Inspiration of Jim Merz in Guiding Collaborative Research in Semiconductors for Quantum Devices
Dr. Evelyn Hu
Tarr-Coyne Prof. Applied Physics & Electrical Eng.
John A. Paulson School of Eng. & Applied Sciences
While at UCSB1, Jim Merz was the inaugural director of one the first NSF Science and Technology Canters: QuEST, the Center for Quantized Electronic Structures. QuEST promised to explore the “whole elephant” of new quantum devices, made possible by plumbing the rich possibilities of compound semiconductor heterostructures, finely sculpted through high-precision nanofabrication techniques.
The “elephant” has also been invoked as a parable that teaches the importance and value of different points of view (is the elephant like a wall? A rope? A fan?). This talk, honoring Jim’s vision, will make a cursory survey of parts of the quantum electronic elephant and highlight the many benefits of the semiconductor materials platform. That platform carries high agency today as we look for the next level of structures and devices that will create a quantum information technology.
Evelyn Hu is the Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. She is also a co-Director of the Harvard Quantum Initiative. Her research involves the study of nanoscale photonic devices demonstrating exceptional efficiencies and holding promise for new quantum information technologies.
She received a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University, worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and was a faculty member at UCSB, in the Departments of Materials, and of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Academica Sinica of Taiwan. She was named a Harvard College Professor (2015-2020), has received a Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentorship and Advising, is a recipient of an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar award, and an AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award. She was awarded the 2020 Andrew Grove Award given by the IEEE, and the 2021 IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal. She holds honorary Doctorates from the University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Notre Dame, and ETH Zurich.