Kevin Qian of JQI and QuICS Wins 2nd Place in Physics at International Science Fair


Kevin Qian of Montgomery Blair High School placed 2nd in the Physics and Astronomy category at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2019 with his research topic “Heisenberg-Scaling Measurement Protocol for Analytic Functions with Quantum Sensor Networks.” Qian worked with Adjunct Associate Professor Alexey Gorshkov and graduate student researcher Zachary Eldredge in the University of Maryland Department of Physics, the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS).

ISEF 2019 was held by Society for Science & the Public, in partnership with the Intel Foundation. Participants are ninth through twelfth graders who won a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair.

Prior to his ISEF 2nd place win, Qian was selected as one of 40 Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) Finalists and, before that, a Regeneron STS 2019 Scholar. The Regeneron STS 2019 Scholars were selected from a field of 1,964 high school seniors competing in science and math.

With his quantum metrology research project, Qian created an optimal method to measure any function of certain physical parameters (such as electric or magnetic fields) as accurately as possible. “I was very lucky to have Professor Gorshkov and Zachary Eldredge as mentors, both of whom were extremely supportive of me throughout my time at JQI,” says Qian.

Qian is a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He plans to attend MIT in the fall.

Daniel Campbell and Fangli Liu are Wylie Fellows

Wylie2019Fangli Liu (left) and Daniel Campbell (right) are Wylie Fellows

Physics Ph.D. candidates Daniel Campbell and Fangli Liu have both recieved the Ann G. Wylie Semester Dissertation Fellowship. The Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship is a full-time fellowship that provides support to University of Maryland doctoral candidates who are in the latter stages of writing their dissertations. 

Daniel Campbell is investigating the synthesis and characterization of bulk quantum materials, including iron-based superconductors and transition metal pnictide materials, rare-earth based compounds, and transition metal dichalcogenides. 

Fangli Liu is studying quantum simulation and quantum dynamics in atomic, molecular and optical systems, which are relevant for future quantum computation and quantum information processing technologies. 

University of Maryland Chapter of Society of Physics Students Named Outstanding Chapter

sps sigpisig logos

The University of Maryland chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. This is the fifth time the chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization, a designation given to fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association designed for students and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.

The SPS chapter at University of Maryland is advised by Director of Education Programs & Public Engagement Donna Hammer and is led by student officers. The 2018-19 officers are: 

Stephanie Williams, President

Orlando Romeo, Vice President

Brady Easterday, Treasurer

Sarah Weatherly, Social & Outreach Chair

Tyler McDonnell, Fundraising Chair

Daniel Lay, Tutoring Chair

"It is a wonderful honor to be named an outstanding chapter by the SPS national. We have worked very hard to meet the needs of every student here at UMD, and reach out to potential physicists in the area. We would have never received this recognition, or been able to produce the quality of programming we do, without the University of Marylands support,” said UMD SPS President Stephanie Williams.

SPS chapters are evaluated on their level of interaction with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public, and with SPS national programs. The Outstanding Chapter Award recognizes high levels of outreach as well as unique approaches to fulfilling the mission of SPS to “help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community.”

To see SPS’s upcoming events, or for information on how to join, visit