IC Fellows Cohort 2023

Quantum Realm for Immersive Education (QuRIE)


Dr. Shulei Zhang teaches something that is not only difficult to describe but challenges our natural understanding of the physical nature of the universe: quantum mechanics. He relies on equations and abstractions to describe quantum behavior such as orbital motion and spin, but he imagined a tool that would allow his students to “see” them for themselves.

In the app developed during his fellowship along with collaborator Sonia Robinson (Hathaway Brown School), Quantum Realm for Immersive Education (QuRIE), there are multiple modules for building quantum understanding. Students first practice and predict symmetry operations (e.g., translation, mirror reflection, inversion, and rotation.) Then they can apply this understanding to an interactive Bloch sphere that illustrates the superposition of quantum states: when a student rotates the spin, the respective equation changes in real time. Students can then watch this play out through an MR simulation of the Stern-Gerlach experiment of 1922.


The IC Fellows Cohort is Provost-sponsored initiative since 2022 to expand CWRU's homegrown mixed reality (MR) educational programming throughout the university in ways that benefit learners. This one-year fellowship is free and open to all CWRU faculty and staff. Once selected, Fellows meet weekly at the IC to become fluent in the application and best practices of MR as a teaching tool and receive support in the design, build, and execution of customized MR applications.