2024 Quantum Technologies Computational Materials Design Project

For questions or more information, feel free to contact Dr. Alcàntara-Ortigoza at malcantaraortigoza@tuskegee.edu


What is the QuTeCMD Project 2024?

This research project is a collaboration between Tuskegee University (TU) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) in support of the quantum workforce development, funded by the RENEW program of the Department of Energy. A major goal of the collaboration is to recruit, sponsor, and mentor basic science and engineering undergraduate interns (UIs) at TU to actively participate in research revealing paths to more efficient single-photon emitters applicable in quantum telecommunications, as well as optically controllable spin-based quantum bits used for quantum computing. The UIs will be trained and engaged in the research via a one-year internship program.

Is there any financial or monetary assistance to help me dedicate time to this project?

The internships will include very attractive partial tuition and stipends. Selected students (UIs) will receive a scholarship of $2,500 for Spring 2024. If a UI successfully completes the spring and summer training, s/he will be eligible to continue and get another $2,500 for the Fall 2024. At the same time, UIs will receive a stipend of $15 per hour (10 hours a week during spring and fall and 40 hours a week during the summer) while they participate in the project. In total, you can earn up to $10,000 in stipends!

Who is eligible?

Highly committed Tuskegee University sophomores or junior students enrolled in any of the following majors: physics; chemistry; chemical, electrical/computational, material-science, mechanical, and aerospace engineering; or computational science, and that have passed with B or higher all science classes in which they have been enrolled (including Fall 2023) and that have already passed with B or higher at least the following science classes: Math 207, Math 208, Phys 310, and Chem 231. UIs who change their major to a non-eligible major will lose their place in the program and the corresponding benefits. Successful candidates must be available on campus 10 hours a week during spring & fall semesters and 6 weeks, 40 hours per week, during the summer at the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

Students with demonstrated financial need, women, and students registered in the Act 504 Accommodations Program are strongly encouraged to apply.Freshmen and seniors might be accepted under exceptional circumstances. Please apply and we will consider your case.

How can I apply to participate in the 2024 QuTECMD Project? How does the selection process work?

The requirements are the following:

  1. Complete the online application (click here to start the application). Only complete application forms that include a valid telephone number and email will be considered. (Deadline October 3)
  2. Complete the subsequent getting-to-know-you survey. You will get access to it within 24 hours after you complete the application. (Deadline October 3)
  3. Complete a simple in-person math/physics/critical-thinking  pretest which will take place on November 7, 2023, at 7 pm. A study guide will be provided.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from your science classes instructors (To be sent to malcantaraortigoza@tuskegee.edu). (Deadline November 8)

The selection to participate in the QuTeCMD Project must be anonymous! Therefore, you will need an active external email address in order to complete your application, but it is very important that your name is not related in any way or revealed by the address of your email. Please do not use your Tuskegee email address until you are told to do so in order to keep the selection anonymous! Thus, you may have to create an external email from sources such as gmail, yahoo, etc. from which your identity is not disclosed.  Also, feel free to contact Dr. Alcàntara-Ortigoza at via email at malcantaraortigoza@tuskegee.edu using your anonymous email account for any questions related to your application, just please do not sign your email with your name but use your phone number instead.

To start your application, please click on “Apply Now” (here, or at the top or bottom of this page). Make sure you have available your grade records, scholarships, current schedule, other information related to TU, etc. When you fill out the application, you must provide your external anonymous email address.

Note that the application must be finished and submitted before October 3, 2023.

On October 4, all applicants will receive a study guide for the math/physics/critical-thinking pretest. The study guide will be sent to you via the external anonymous email you provide in the application.

You will be informed of the room in which we will meet for the in-person pretest on math, physics, and critical thinking by November 1. This evaluation will take place on November 7, 2023 at 7 pm (save the date and time). Since, we cannot check your Tuskegee ID before you take the test, we will take a photo of you before the test.

You will need to secure two short letters of recommendation from past Tuskegee University instructors of STEM classes. They should evaluate your dependability, motivation, perseverance, accountability, problem-solving and organizational skills, self-assessment ability, and resourcefulness. The letters must be submitted to malcantaraortigoza@tuskegee.edu by you professor by November 8. Make sure you remind your recommending professors that your name and gender should not be revealed in the letter, instead please ask them to use the telephone number you declare in your application to identify you, and use the s/he, his/her, her/him pronouns to conceal your gender.

The final selection will be completed by November 13. If you are selected, you will be informed by email and/or by phone and you will be asked to provide your name and Tuskegee ID number by November 14, as well as meet Dr. Alcàntara-Ortigoza either Tuesday November 14 or Wednesday November 15 to verify your identity against the picture taken of you on November 7. All the information you provide in your application will be carefully verified. Among the selected students, only those who provide correct and accurate information will be eligible to participate in the 2024 QuTeCMD Project. On December 5, we will have a welcome meeting with the research group members and a tour around the computer lab.

Feel free to contact Dr. Alcàntara-Ortigoza at malcantaraortigoza@tuskegee.edu concerning your application at any time during the process from your anonymous external email. Just make sure not to reveal your identity.

In what way will I participate in the project?

Spring 2024: The UIs will be equipped with basic skills and knowledge on: Quantum mechanics; GNU/Linux computing environment; (3) Basic programming skills in Fortran; (4) Data analysis and a graphing software; and Crystalline and molecular structure visualization software.

Summer 2024: UIs will be equipped with basics and hands-on on High Performance Computing applied to determine the electronic, vibrational, and optic properties of well-know materials as a preparation to deal with the actual research. The UIs will be introduced to the American Physical Society (APS) Bridge program. The APS program is designed to bridge the gap between physics undergraduate and graduate participation of underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities.

Fall 2024: UIs will perform activities and calculations directly related to the research project. They will be also trained in  Literature search; Interpretation and reporting of the research results; Manuscript and poster presentation preparation.

March 3 – 7, 2025: Attending March APS Meeting and presenting research result in the poster sessions or possibly in a talk session.

Where and when will the project take place?

The participation of the UIs in the QuTeCMD-24 Project training will start when the spring 2024 semester begins. During the spring 2024, UIs must complete the 10-hour/week training for 16 weeks at TU campus. UIs that successfully complete the spring training will be invited to the 40-hour/week summer internship at UCF (Department of Physics, Orlando, FL) during 6 weeks. UIs that successfully complete the summer training will qualify to participate in the 2024 fall training, which will be again 10-hour/week for 16 weeks at TU campus. Finally, UIs that successfully complete the fall research activities will be invited to attend the 2025 March American Physical Society (APS) Meeting in Los Angeles, CA (March 3 – 7, 2025) to present their results. During the spring and fall semester, the 10 hours that the UIs must attend will be mostly fixed in the evenings and/or weekends so that the QuTeCMD activities do not overlap with the courses that the UIs are taking. Note that travel expenses, board, and lodging will be covered by the funds of the Project when traveling to Orlando (lodging at UCF dorms) and Los Angeles (lodging at a hotel).

Who should I contact if I have a question?

Feel free to contact Dr. Alcàntara-Ortigoza at malcantaraortigoza@tuskegee.edu concerning the specifics of the program or your application at any time during the process, but do so from your anonymous external email. And please make sure not to reveal your identity. Good luck!