Spiros Michalakis

2012-2014 Faculty Advisor

Spiros grew up in Greece, where he developed an interest in mathematics through an after-school program devoted to problem solving. After graduating from MIT with a degree in Mathematics with Computer Science, he moved to sunny California for a PhD in Mathematical Physics from UC Davis. Upon graduation, he moved to Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, where he worked on quantum many-body physics and topological quantum computing.

In addition to his research duties at Caltech, Spiros is the Manager of Outreach Activities for the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter. His recent collaboration with Google and MinecraftEDU culminated in a mod (addition) to the popular game Minecraft, called QCraft. The mod, designed to introduce kids to quantum mechanics through puzzles simulating quantum superposition, entanglement and quantum teleportation, has already reached millions of kids around the world. It is currently being used, in conjunction with other educational material prepared by IQIM and Google, as part of the curriculum in Middle Schools and High Schools around the country and the world.

During the summer, Spiros organizes IQIM's Research Institute for high school teachers and students. Outside of his role as adviser for Caltech’s InnoWorks Academy, Spiros also advises Caltech's Science Olympiad club.

InnoWorks is a Winner of the 2007 BRICK Awards