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Critique my statement of purpose for masters in quantum engineering

Vatsy31 1 / -  
Jul 10, 2021   #1

application for the Masters Degree in quantum engineering

My motivation to apply for the Masters Degree in quantum engineering at University of Wurzburg is to acquire a theoretical understanding of condensed matter physics and topology for applications in quantum computing. I aim to do a PhD in topological quantum computing and this course will laid the perfect foundation for my career.

A strong predilection towards mathematics and physics had been the backbone of my academic journey. I was always interested in the practical application of these subjects and decided to study engineering. After clearing a rigorous entrance exam and securing rank in the top 0.1% among 1 million candidates I took admission at the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi with a major in Metallurgical Engineering.

The basic science courses in my first year prepared me with the tools required to understand the fundamentals of materials. A course on the structure of materials captured my interest in crystal and electronic structures. Countless discussions with the professor in and out of the class inspired me to take a project to get a practical understanding of the field. I joined the structural and chemical analysis lab of Prof. Mukherjee where I worked on the dependence of localized surface plasmonic resonance on the shape of gold nanoparticles (nanospheres, nanoplates, nanorods) deposited on 1T phase of 2 dimensional MoS2 for photoelectrochemical HER applications. This experience helped me in learning the fabrication and characterization methodologies including X-ray diffraction, SEM, TEM and electrochemical characterization.

To understand the problem I had to study light-matter interaction and classical scattering theory which is where I realized my interest in the physics of materials. My research in energy materials progressed in the summer of my sophomore year where I worked on graphene functionalized metal organic frameworks for hydrogen storage applications at the defence institute,Pune, India. As it was a defense project we could not present our work but with our understanding we wrote a review paper discussing about the field which got published in the Journal of Material Science. I continued research in 2D materials in my department by studying Ruddlesden popper-based 2-D halide perovskites for solar cell applications under Prof. Joysurya Basu as my bachelor thesis. I studied the structure property relationship of different ordered phase of halide perovskites. It was amazing to sit with the professor for hours on the electron microscope trying to get the perfect image and diffraction pattern of the complex system. learning from his experience and real time analysis.

A course on Electronic and Magnetic properties of materials in my junior year intrigued me to delve deeper into the study of the electronic structure of 2D materials. My passion helped me secure an International Internship at the University of Padova, Italy in the group of Gaetano Granozzi. In Italy, I worked on e-beam deposition of monolayer WSe2 on Au-111 single crystal with in-situ photoelectron spectroscopy and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy .We performed insitu potentiodynamic studies to analyze the active catalytic sites using electrochemical STM.

I investigated the indirect to direct bandgap transition, effect of dopant on the electronic structure of monolayer WSe2 using Angle Resolved UPS.For visualizing the angle resolved data in the k-space. I wrote a matlab script to integrate with Igor Pro software. This successful collaboration helped me understand that with proper guidance and determination, I could thrive in an international setting.

In the meantime I was trying to understand the importance of spin-orbit interactions that we observed in WSe2, I came across an interesting paper by (Kane and Mele 2005) explaining how spin-orbit coupling can lead to topological insulator phases. After coming back to India I took a reading project under physics faculty, Dr. Sandip Chatterjee, to understand more about it.In parallel I was writing a invited book chapter on design and syntheis of two dimensional materials 1 and heterostructures. I spent the winter of 2019 at TIFR Hyderabad under Dr. Karthik Raman reading and understanding several architectures for the observation of majorana fermions in topological materials.With guidance from the professor I was motivated to apply for a masters in the field to gain more theoretical background to contribute to the field.

Due to Covid 19, I had to switch my plans to the next year. During my gap year, I attended a summer school organized by IBM on Quantum Computing. The summer school gave me a hands-on experience in implementing algorithms on a quantum computer and introduced me to several interesting applications of the field. Being from a materials engineering background I was naturally interested in the hardware aspect of it. I was already familiar with the research going on in the field of topological materials for quantum computing applications. I decided to learn more about the field and therefore joined a project position in the quantum technologies lab at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

My work with the group was to couple surface acoustic waves with superconducting quantum bits. It involved fabrication of SAW devices and Josephson junctions using optical and e-beam lithography, deposition using e-beam evaporation and characterizing them using Vector network analyzers at millikelvin temperature. It also involved simulation of devices on COMSOL which helped me in understanding the multiphysics of the problem. In the process, I learned to set up a dilution refrigerator and measurement electronics. I automated the task of measuring from the instruments by writing python drivers for interfacing with VISA protocol. The second wave impeded my laboratory work but I utilized my time at IISc by learning the qutip python module to study the open quantum system dynamics.

My plan is to bridge my interest in condensed matter with the field of quantum computing i.e to work on topological quantum computing. Masters in quantum engineering from the University of W¨urzburg will not only give me the necessary theoretical background to understand the field but also a hands-on experience with world-class clean room and fabrication facilities in the form of the Institute for Topological Insulators. The Experimental Physics III group chaired by Prof. Molenkamp and the theoretical physics group of Prof. Bj¨orn Trauzettel are very active research groups in the field. With collaborative efforts like ct.qmat and recent collaboration with Julich, JMU is set to establish itself in the field of topological quantum computing and I would like to be a part of it. I believe that my undergraduate education and research have equipped me well to carry out my graduate studies and research at a prominent institute like JMU, Wurzburg.

I would like to mention that being an engineering undergrad I don't have core physics courses in my transcripts but my projects and research experience have helped me to understand and implement the concepts in a practical setting. Self-study and countless discussions with professors have helped me develop a solid understanding of most of the undergraduate physics theory. The quantum engineering course will help me to get a formal training in the field to be fully capable to tackle interesting problems.

In my entire journey as an undergraduate, I have been guided by great lecturers and professors who have incorporated in me a love for the subject, always helping me in overcoming different obstacles with due guidance and mentoring. Inspired by them I have decided to be in academia to transfer the wisdom and knowledge back to the scientific community. I have attended and presented in several research conferences and have been actively involved in extra-curricular activities which have whetted my appetite for leadership and provided me several opportunities to work in a team and handle pressure successfully . Research experiences have taught me that patience, hard work, perseverance, and requisite efforts are required to achieve anything in life
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,881 4564  
Jul 11, 2021   #2
Without knowing if there are specific writing requirements for this SOP, I would have to say that this type of presentation does not present proper and related information. A statement of purpose responds to certain specific questions:

- What is your career motivation?
- How does your last 2 years of work experience lend relevance to your PHD interests?
- What publications do you have? What are the publications and publication dates?How does your experience writing there articles lend to the strength of your PhD related abilities?

- Have you made your mark in the industry as a masters graduate? How? (Conferences and seminars attended)Why are these accomplishments key to Ph D career?

- Awards and recognition
- Connection between masters course, work experience, and the current course based on future career plans.
- Why this university? Whose mentorship are you interested in? Why? How are your interests relevant to the professor's current research?

The current presentation mixes the personal statement with the statement of purpose. It is a confusing presentation that is nothing more than an outline of possible topics for inclusion in the SOP. The writer must use the SOP to deliver a clear career path from past, to present, to future. The purpose should end with more than just completed research. Indicate a relevance and application for it that would make it a notable PhD paper in Quantum computing.

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