Ben grew up in Eastern Massachusetts, about half an hour NW of Boston. As a kid, he was a math and science nerd (Academic Decathlon anyone?), with a side of musician (he played the ‘cello). After graduating in 2001, Ben attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where he studied, took lots of fun electives (shiatsu massage, fencing, etc.), watched anime, and wrote code to help run Cornell’s particle accelerator. He also spent a great deal of time hanging out at the Center for Jewish Living, including two years as a resident there. When he earned his B. A. in physics in 2005 (in just four years and with honors!), he decided that he liked living in a hippie-ish town — so he came to the University of Colorado, Boulder to work on his Ph. D. In January 2010, Ben passed his second Comprehensive Exam and is now almost ready to write his thesis for his Ph. D.!
In Boulder, Ben was mostly a cave-dwelling troglodyte of a graduate student in Jun Ye’s group: his lab is in the basement. When he’s allowed to come up for air and a bit of sunshine, Ben likes to take walks in the Flatirons, go to classical music concerts, attend services at Bonai Shalom, and cook for his wife and their friends. Ben is especially talented at making pizza dough, Thai food, and anything involving meat (which is a good thing, because Deena refuses to cook it).
Ben earned his Ph. D. in December 2012 and then we moved East! Now that we live in Maryland, Ben works at NIST as a post doctoral research fellow. He started as an employee of the University of Maryland‘s Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), and has since won an NRC post doctoral research fellowship appointment and is now a direct employee of NIST, but with a grant stipend rather than a salary (not that different until it’s time to pay taxes).