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Captivating Q-FARM Seminars

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Our first “official" Q-FARM seminar was in September of 2019, a few months after the newly launched Q-FARM initiative. Read the Stanford News announcement, "Q-FARM initiative to bolster quantum research at Stanford-SLAC."

Since then, our Wednesday seminars have continued to grow in frequency, while allowing speakers and attendance to be remote or in-person.

We currently offer weekly seminars and invite outstanding speakers from numerous universities. In addition to a 50-minute talk from an invited speaker, the seminar has a 10-minute talk from one of our doctoral students incorporated into the agenda. This opportunity helps students to build their communication skills, and facilitate collaborations between on-campus groups.

Additionally, our graduate students are required to ask the first several questions! Initially this resulted in some eye-rolling, but they have embraced the idea and have sparked many lively discussions. Equally as lively are the informal lunches we host before each week’s seminar. During this time, the conversations cover a variety of topics, and the positive energy of our community is palpable. We also coordinate weekly speaker lunches where doctoral students and postdocs can connect with the speaker and build relationships across universities and research areas.

Lastly, once or twice per quarter there are postdoc double-headers where our postdocs give science talks. Again, we have seen the building of internal collaborations and the opportunity for practicing high profile talks has been invaluable for this group as they prepare for job interviews.

Our next steps are to assess results of a recent survey on the Q-FARM seminars. We are looking forward to incorporating the suggestions, and brainstorming what our future could be.