Dr. Mark Saffman is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For Mark, physics is a hobby as well as his job. When he’s not thinking about physics, Mark likes spending time with his family, including his young kids. Getting outside and spending time in nature is a great way for Mark to relax and unwind. Mark’s research focuses on quantum computing. He and his colleagues are trying to build a new kind of computer called a quantum computer that can solve some kinds of problems that are unreachable for current supercomputers. A quantum computer uses individual atoms and has power that exceeds what you can do with known classical computing approaches. Mark received is B.Sc. with honors in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology. Mark worked as a Technical Staff Member at TRW Defense and Space systems and subsequently an Optical Engineer at Dantec Electronics Inc. in Denmark before going back to graduate school to earn his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Next, Mark worked as a Senior Scientist at Riso National Laboratory in Denmark before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mark has received many honors and awards during his career including the Vilas Associate Award from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, as well as the Research and Creative Work and the William Walter Jr. Awards from the University of Colorado. In addition, he has been named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Mark has joined us in this interview to talk about his experiences in life and science.
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