Alex Tait  PhD

Assistant Professor

Faculty, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 79714
Walter Light Hall, Room: 414 

Expertise: Photonic Information Processing and Neuromorphic Engineering
Alex  Tait 
Biography Research Publications
Alex Tait is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. He was an NRC postdoctoral fellow in the Quantum Nanophotonics and Faint Photonics Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO, USA. He received his PhD in the Lightwave Communications Research Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA under the direction of Paul Prucnal. 

His research interests include silicon photonics, neuromorphic engineering, and superconducting optoelectronics. Dr. Tait is a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) and is a member of the IEEE Photonics Society and the Optical Society of America (OSA). He is the recipient of the Award for Excellence from the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Best Student Paper Award from the 2016 IEEE Summer Topicals Meeting Series, and the Class of 1883 Writing Prize from the Princeton Department of English. He has authored 15 refereed journal papers, (co)filed 8 provisional patents, created 7 open-source software packages, and contributed to the textbook Neuromorphic Photonics. 
The lab explores opportunities for unconventional information processing systems enabled by emerging photonic integration platforms. The rapid growth of the silicon photonics industry brings an availability, stability, and scalability unprecedented for any non-electronic platform technology. Silicon photonic systems hold the potential to expand, not just improve, the ways in which machines can process information.  

Neuromorphic photonics combines photonic device physics with distributed processing models, resulting in a new class of ultrafast information processors. These processors can operate on 10 GHz timescales compared to the 1 kHz timescales found in neuromorphic electronic counterparts. One problem is that fundamentally new computing technologies are -- by their nature -- answers that precede their most impactful questions. Identifying these ultrafast applications is a key research direction. 

Cryogenic silicon photonics brings together a new set of superconducting and optoelectronic phenomena with applications to integrated quantum information science. At room temperature, silicon does not emit light, meaning that all silicon photonic chips need external light sources. Silicon can emit light at low temperatures, such as those required by superconducting devices. Silicon light sources are a next step in fully monolithic superconducting, optoelectronic systems and are a key research direction. 

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