Editor’s note: Fred Chong, the Seymour Goodman Professor in Computer Science and the College and a Chicago Quantum Exchange researcher, was a recipient of the University’s Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring.


The transformative education that students experience at the University of Chicago begins with the teachers who inspire them.

The University annually recognizes faculty for exceptional teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students through the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards, believed to be the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching; and the Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring, which honor faculty for their work with graduate students.

Quantrell Awards

Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Awards

Fred Chong, the Seymour Goodman Professor in Computer Science and the College

There are few scientific frontiers more open and exciting these days than quantum computing. But how do students get a foothold in a field that is just taking flight, one that derives its potential from the outer boundaries of physics, computer science and mathematics?

In both Prof. Fred Chong’s graduate-level course on quantum computer systems and his research group, he gives students the confidence to leap into this fertile landscape, which Chong himself only started working in a decade into his research career.

“Someone once gave me the advice that being a faculty member is all about committing to doing things that you’re not yet completely qualified to do,” Chong says. “Doing research is all about taking on areas that you’re going to have to learn more about and building your confidence.”

Chong makes intimidating concepts accessible by offering students multiple points of engagement: engineering physical devices, applying math to theory and algorithms, or developing new approaches for software.

“We have students from molecular engineering, physics and math, and computer science all taking my class, and that’s a great thing, since quantum systems are really a synthesis of all these disciplines,” Chong says.

Read more at UChicago News.

Photo by Jean Lachat.