(U.Chicago.edu) A University of Chicago student focused on achieving practical quantum computing for molecular modeling, has received a Barry Goldwater Scholarships, awarded annually based on academic merit in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
Third-year student Thomas Propson is among the 396 U.S. college students to be selected for this award, which provides scholarships of up to $7,500 a year to help cover the cost of tuition, fees and living expenses. This scholarship helps STEM students fund their research during their final years of undergraduate study.
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate
Propson focus on practical quantum computing for molecular modeling would have broad use for the development of drugs and materials. Through work with computer scientist Fred Chong, Propson helped optimize algorithms for use in quantum computing. This past year, he joined physicist David Schuster’s Lab, where he helps develop techniques to mitigate experimental errors that occur in quantum systems.
Outside the lab, Propson serves as technology lead of Uncommon Hacks, a student organization that hosts workshops and hack-a-thons for students to learn about tech. After graduation, he plans to enroll in a PhD program in applied physics. He is still weighing careers in academia and industry—but he expects the Goldwater Scholars community to be a great resource in this decision.

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