Faculty, Assistant Professor

Rajibuil Islam

K. Rajibul Islam joined the Institute for Quantum Computing in November 2016 as Assistant Professor with the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science, and is the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Quantum Information with Trapped Ions.

Islam completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s physics degrees in India, focusing on the theory of statistical physics, quantum magnetism and the interaction of spins in frustrated systems. Motivated by the possibility of studying physical systems in a lab, Islam shifted to experimental research with laser-cooled trapped ions and moved to the University of Maryland, College Park to earn his PhD under the supervision of Christopher Monroe. His thesis Quantum Simulation of Interacting Spin Models with Trapped Ions was recognized by the University of Maryland’s Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2013.

In his first three years as a postdoctoral fellow with Harvard University at the Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA), Islam studied entanglement in ultra-cold neutral bosonic atoms in optical potentials with Markus Greiner’s group. Returning his research focus to ions, this time in optical potentials created in a high quality optical resonator, Islam joined MIT as a postdoctoral researcher in Vladan Vuletic’s group at CUA.

At IQC, Islam’s experimental research will address fundamental physics questions, concentrating on encoding and manipulating quantum information in a quantum many-body system using trapped ions.

Research expertise

  • Experimental quantum many-body physics, especially quantum simulation of frustrated spin models with trapped ions
  • Quantum computation with trapped ions
  • Use of holography and high resolution microscopy to manipulate many-body systems

Selected publications


  • PhD, Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, USA
  • MSc, Physics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
  • BSc, Physics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Awards & Honours

  • Distinguished Dissertation Award, University of Maryland, 2013
  • Best paper award, DARPA Optical Lattice Emulator project, 2011
  • Honourable mention – Ralph D. Myers 2007/2008 Teaching Assistant Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Maryland, 2007

Major positions

Title Location When
Assistant Professor Institute for Quantum Computing and Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Waterloo 2016- Present
Associate of the Department of Physics Harvard University 2016-2017
Postdoctoral Researcher Center for Ultracold Atoms, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2015-2016
Research Associate in Physics Center for Ultracold Atoms, Harvard University 2015-2016
Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Ultracold Atoms, Harvard University 2012-2015
University of Waterloo
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