Joel Corbo

Joel Corbo is a graduate student at UC Berkeley, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in physics. He has been part of the Compass Project since the summer of 2007.

Joel is a born-and-bred New Yorker, and as such, loves musical theater and enjoys fast-paced, urban environments. His love of physics began during his junior year at Regis High School (the one Regis Philbin was named after) when he took physics for the first time and got hooked on an awesome TV show called “The Mechanical Universe” (you should really click on this link!).  The first episode he saw was on special relativity, and he found it so bizarre and cool (and confusing) that he couldn’t stop re-watching it. After that, physics became his way of life. Joel got his undergraduate degree in physics from MIT, where he worked on many hideously difficult (but fun!) problem sets, enjoyed MIT’s hacking culture, and contributed his energy to running an entire dorm and solving puzzles in the internationally-renowned Mystery Hunt (which he has helped to write twice).

After graduation from MIT, Joel headed out West to the Bay Area to start his graduate work. After a few changes of direction, his research is now focused on quantum information and large-scale quantum systems (specifically quantum Monte Carlo simulations and the role of decoherence in quantum mechanics). At Berkeley, Joel’s love for teaching solidified through his TAing experiences (he especially enjoys teaching the honors introductory sequence) and his work with Compass. He is excited to be part of a community like Compass that values teaching and collaboration and that has allowed him to come to know and support such a wonderful group of students. He hopes to make physics education and undergraduate mentoring an important part of his future career.