Madelyn Cain

  • Program Years: 2019-2023
  • Academic Institution: Harvard University
  • Field of Study: Physics
  • Academic Advisor: Mikhail Lukin
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2021)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Physics, and B.S. Mathematics with Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2019

Current Status

  • Research Area: Physics


Cain, M. Chattopadhyay, S., Liu, J-G., Samajdar, R. Pichler, H., Lukin, M. Quantum speedup for combinatorial optimization with flat energy landscapes. arXiv:2306.13123

Schiffer, B., Wild, D., Maskara, N. Cain, M. Lukin, M., Samajdar, R. (2023) Circumventing superexponential runtimes for hard instances of quantum adiabatic optimization. arXiv:2306.13131

Liu, J-G., Gao, X., Cain, M., Lukin, M., Wang, S-T. (2022). Computing solution space properties of combinatorial optimization problems via generic tensor networks. arXiv:2205.03718

Cain, M., Farhi, E., Gutmann, S., Ranard, D., Tang, E. (2022). The QAOA gets stuck starting from a good classical string. arXiv:2207.05089

Ebadi, S.*; Keesling, A.*; Cain, M.* et al. (2022) Quantum Optimization of Maximum Independent Set using Rydberg Atom Arrays. Science, 386, 6598.

Cain, M. et al. (2020). J1521-3538, a very metal-poor, extremely r-process-enhanced star with [Eu/Fe] = +2.2, and the class of r-III stars. The Astrophysical Journal. Volume 898 (1).

Cain, M. et al. (2018). Chemical abundances for a trio of r-process-enhanced stars - one strong, one moderate, and one mild. The Astrophysical Journal. Volume 864 (1).

Gull, M.; Frebel, A.; Cain, M.; et al. (2018). Discovery of the first metal-poor star with a combined r- and s-process element signature. The Astrophysical Journal. Volume 862 (2).


Joel M. Orloff Award for Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2019)
Sigma Pi Sigma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2019)
Purcell Fellowship and Peirce Fellowship, Harvard University (2019)
Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, Department of Energy (2019)
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, Department of Defense (Offered, 2019)
Heising-Simons Grant Winner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2019)
Invited Student Speaker & Best Poster Award, Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences (2018)
Invited Student Speaker for the MIT Physics Department, MIT Family Weekend Reception (2018)
Johnson & Johnson Undergraduate Research Scholar (2016)