Photo by Jean Lachat
Photo by Jean Lachat

Fred Chong, the Seymour Goodman Professor in Computer Science and the College, was one of five recipients of this year's Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring, one of the University's highest faculty honors.

There are few scientific frontiers more open and exciting these days than quantum computing. But how do students get a foothold in a field that is just taking flight, one that derives its potential from the outer boundaries of physics, computer science and mathematics?

In both Prof. Fred Chong’s graduate-level course on quantum computer systems and his research group, he gives students the confidence to leap into this fertile landscape, which Chong himself only started working in a decade into his research career.

“Someone once gave me the advice that being a faculty member is all about committing to doing things that you're not yet completely qualified to do,” Chong says. “Doing research is all about taking on areas that you’re going to have to learn more about and building your confidence.”

Chong makes intimidating concepts accessible by offering students multiple points of engagement: engineering physical devices, applying math to theory and algorithms, or developing new approaches for software.

“We have students from molecular engineering, physics and math, and computer science all taking my class, and that's a great thing, since quantum systems are really a synthesis of all these disciplines,” Chong says.

That interdisciplinary approach transfers to his lab, where he mentors 10 graduate students and two postdoctoral scholars. Each researcher is expected to oversee their own project, but also support each other’s work—from hardware to theory.

“I definitely give them a lot of room to run with the things they want to do,” Chong said. “There has never been a day that I did not think I was in the right job for me. My students can see that I really enjoy my work, and I think that has led many to become faculty and researchers.”

Read about the rest of the faculty award recipients at UChicago News.

Related News

More UChicago CS stories from this research area.
UChicago CS News

Fred Chong Receives Quantrell Award for Excellence in Teaching

May 16, 2024
UChicago CS News

Non-Unital Noise Adds a New Wrinkle to the Quantum Supremacy Debate

Apr 05, 2024
UChicago CS News

Argonne scientists use AI to identify new materials for carbon capture

Feb 19, 2024
In the News

New research unites quantum engineering and artificial intelligence

Jan 29, 2024
UChicago CS News

Group From UChicago CS To Present Four Papers at Most Prestigious International Quantum Conference

Jan 09, 2024
UChicago CS News

Five UChicago CS students named to Siebel Scholars Class of 2024

Oct 02, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago Scientists Make New Discovery Proving Entanglement Is Responsible for Computational Hardness In Quantum Systems

Jul 25, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago Computer Scientists Bring in Generative Neural Networks to Stop Real-Time Video From Lagging

Jun 29, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago Team Wins The NIH Long COVID Computational Challenge

Jun 28, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago Assistant Professor Raul Castro Fernandez Receives 2023 ACM SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award

Jun 27, 2023
UChicago CS News

Computer Science Displays Catch Attention at MSI’s Annual Robot Block Party

Apr 07, 2023
UChicago CS News

Virtual Bakery Game Serves Up Both Cupcakes and Quantum Concepts For K-12 Students

Mar 27, 2023
arrow-down-largearrow-left-largearrow-right-large-greyarrow-right-large-yellowarrow-right-largearrow-right-smallbutton-arrowclosedocumentfacebookfacet-arrow-down-whitefacet-arrow-downPage 1CheckedCheckedicon-apple-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-google-t5icon-office365-t5icon-outlook-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-outlookcom-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-yahoo-t5backgroundLayer 1internal-yellowinternalintranetlinkedinlinkoutpauseplaypresentationsearch-bluesearchshareslider-arrow-nextslider-arrow-prevtwittervideoyoutube