Members

Leilee Chojnacki - PhD Student, Rotation

I obtained my Master’s degree through the PSI programme at Perimeter Institute, where I was exposed a fascinating array of topics in Theoretical Physics, and I became interested in condensed matter physics and quantum information. During my time at OIST, I am passionate to discover more about unusual states of matter and what we can do with them. Beyond physics, I love to spend time in nature, and I have a longstanding interest in Okinawan culture and Martial Arts.

Megumi Ikeda - Research Unit Administrator

My duties are to assist unit members with any non-science problems so that they can excel with their academic work. My favorite part of my job is interacting with people and peeking at unit members while they struggle with overwhelming science!!
Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, reading and sleeping on the beach.

Tim Keller - PhD Student, Rotation

I obtained my Master's degree from Saarland University in Saarbrücken (Germany) in the group of Giovanna Morigi, where I studied the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of small ultracold atomic systems and the fascinating properties of quantum crystals of matter and light, formed by the process of atomic self-organization in optical cavities. At OIST, I hope to learn more about many-body and condensed matter physics, especially about collective quantum effects at low temperatures like novel states of matter. Outside of physics, I enjoy being around and inside Okinawa's beautiful ocean and exploring the island.

Yurika Kubo - JSPS Fellow

I got my master degree at Waseda University, and will defend my PhD there. I am now working as a JSPS Fellow in OIST. My current research interests are in thermal and spin transport in frustrated magnets. In my free time, I like handicraft such as knitting, and tennis.

Christina Lee - PhD student

Though my interests started in astrophysics, I have transitioned to condensed matter theory rotating with and then finally joining the TQM group in May 2015.  As an undergrad in physics, I performed research in extrasolar planets with Dr. John Johnson (now Harvard), and in testing General Relativity for LIGO with Dr. Alan Weinstein.  An early interest in Japan and the Japanese language led me to OIST, in addition to their fascinating program and great research.  My outside interests include origami, knitting, and piano.

Friederike Metz - PhD student, Rotation

After studying in Germany, the US, and Canada, as well as traveling around the world, my journey brought me all the way to Okinawa, where I am now a first year PhD student. Academically, I am similarly curious and have worked in the fields of astrophysics, quantum information, and particle physics. In my free time I enjoy snorkeling, discovering this beautiful island, and learning Japanese.

Soshi Mizutani - PhD student

After finishing my MS thesis on cuprate superconductors in the supervision of Catherine Kallin at McMaster/KITP, I came back to Japan, after 5 years in freezing cold North America, to start my PhD program here on this beautiful tropical island. I am interested in physics of strongly correlated systems in general. In my spare time, I participate in various OIST sports clubs including soccer, basketball, badminton etc to let my steam off, and I also enjoy playing piano and sanshin to unwind.

Rico Pohle - Junior Research Fellow (Dec 2017-), PhD student (2013-2018)

I received my diploma in experimental physics from Dresden University of Technology (Germany) in 2012. During my diploma I studied surface properties of the unconventional pnictide superconductor LiFeAs with an Scanning Tunneling Microscope. After joining the PhD program of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) as one of its first students, I switched to theoretical physics and try to enlarge my understanding of thermodynamical and dynamical properties in spin liquids. Next to my studies I am very interested in martial arts, dancing and the exploration of the culture, history and spirit of the islands of Okinawa and Japan.

Geet Rakala - Postdoctoral Scholar

During the course of my PhD with Prof. Kedar Damle at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, I studied 2-dimensional lattice models of frustrated magnets using Monte-Carlo techniques. I recently got interested in water and at OIST, I am looking at deploying the numerical skills that I developed during my PhD to study the hydrogen bond network of water.  Apart from work, I have a strong interest in mastering various Unix tools like bash and vim. On the physical side of things, I like to keep it light by playing amateur table tennis once a month on average. In Okinawa, I hope to explore the culture and cuisine of this stunning island and learn a little Japanese while I am at it.

Kimberly Remund - PhD student

As past of my Master’s degree, which I did at EPFL in Switzerland, I had the opportunity to accomplish my Master’s project here at OIST. After what I decided to join the OIST PhD program and the TQM unit.
Beside physics and science, I like dancing, cycling along the hilly, winding roads of Okinawa and enjoying the pleasant weather as well as the tasty food of the Islands. I am also interested in Martial Arts and in discovering more about the history and culture of Okinawa.

Addison Richards - Research Intern

Currently an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, I came to OIST to complete a research project as a summer intern. My interests are in the numerical simulation of complex systems and the mathematical framework of statistical and condensed matter physics. In my free time I like to exercise and play logic games such as chess. While I am here, I hope to learn more about the many facets of science being studied at OIST and experience Japanese culture.

Judit Romhanyi - Staff Scientist

After finishing my PhD in Budapest in the group of Karlo Penc, I moved to Germany. I was a post-doc first at the Leibniz Institute in the group of Jeroen van den Brink in Dresden, then in the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart with Hidenori Takagi. My research includes novel quantum phases, exotic excitations and topological properties of magnetic insulators, orbital physics and multiferroic materials. When time permits, I enjoy the wonderful environment and excellent food in Okinawa and try to get familiar with Japanese culture and language.

Tokuro Shimokawa - Postdoctoral Scholar

After I got my PhD at the University of Hyogo, I worked as a postdoc at the Kobe (2012-2013) and Osaka (2013-2017) Universities, Japan. I've been interested in the novel magnetic states observed in frustrated spin systems, especially now, I'm studying on spin liquid and multiple-q states by means of some numerical techniques. I'm really happy to be able to study physics with many wonderful, respectable researchers. In my spare time, not only physics, I will enjoy playing tennis, diving and drinking with my friends, coworkers and family in this beautiful island.

Andreas Thomasen - PhD student

I graduated from Aarhus University with a master's degree in optics and electronics. I've since then done various short research projects in quantum state engineering and cold atom physics. Eventually I have found myself at OIST, where I am now doing my PhD in the Theory of Quantum Matter unit. I enjoy learning about strange states of matter that exist at very low temperatures and the methods that are used to describe them. I find the intuitions that one can obtain here very satisfying and elegant. I also like rowing, cycling and playing esoteric board games with my friends.

Han Yan - PhD student, JSPS Fellow (also supervised by Prof. Hirotaka Sugawara)

After obtaining a Master degree of Applied Math from Univ. of Cambridge and another of Physics from Northwestern Univ., I started my PhD program at OIST, where I have been exposed to various fascinating problems in both condensed matter and high energy physics. I work on the boundary of these two disciplines, with particular interest in understanding frustrated spin systems in terms of emergent gauge/gravity/string theory. Implications of these highly entangled, topological many-body system may also shed light on high energy theories. Outside work I enjoy hitting the gym, swimming, and reading.