Mark grew up in New Jersey but left the cold behind to study Physics and Computer Science at University of Florida. Early on as an undergraduate, Mark pursued condensed matter research focused on renewable energy technologies, such as the design of an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen for energy storage. By the end of his bachelor studies, his research interests evolved to be more computational, working with Professor Hai-Ping Cheng on software design for simulating molecules based on quantum mechanical principles. In 2017, Mark moved to Santa Barbara to begin his graduate studies, advised by Professor Chris Van de Walle at UCSB. In his free time, he lifts (moderately) heavy things and climbs (relatively) tall things.
As a Quantum Foundry fellow, Mark is applying computational techniques to study defects in semiconductor crystals. These defects are an appealing platform to harness the power of quantum mechanics because they provide multiple well-defined quantum states that can be manipulated through various means. Mark will build on his initial work as a graduate student, having identified boron dangling bonds as an appealing quantum defect in hexagonal boron nitride. Most importantly, he will develop the tools and methods necessary to provide a complete, computational characterization of quantum defects that will guide future discovery efforts.