My name is Jacob Beckey and I am a third year physics PhD student in Graeme Smith’s group at University of Colorado, Boulder. My research interests include quantum information theory, quantum computing, and quantum metrology. In the future, I hope to teach physics and mathematics in some formal capacity. Using this site, I want to share what I learn as a progress towards this goal.
As a first generation college student from a rural town in Pennsylvania, I graduated high school largely unsure what it was physicists did. Of course, I had no idea where I should go to university or how to best prepare for a career in physics, so I just chose a small school near home that I could afford: Clarion University of Pennsylvania. It was a very small small state school with an even smaller physics department. To be specific, in 2018, I graduated with for other physics majors. So… very small. Now, although I am eternally grateful for the personal attention, funding, and advisement I received from Clarion, I did arrive in Boulder with far fewer courses under my belt than my peers from MIT, Yale, etc. As such, I found the first year of graduate school incredibly difficult. From talking with friends, mentoring students, and discussing with working scientists that made it through graduate school, it has become clear that many people find the route to becoming a physicist incredibly difficult. In an effort to help make this path less bumpy for aspiring physicists, I will, slowly but surely, be populating this site with advice for high-school-aged aspiring physicists, information regarding undergraduate research opportunities, application tips for national and international fellowships, detailed research paper walk-throughs, tutorials on various topics in quantum information theory and related topics, information on my current research and academic experience, and interviews with scientists about careers in physics and mathematics.
It is my hope to create something useful to students at all points along their journey in physics. Please feel free to reach out to me at the email below with any comments or questions!