As a theoretical physicist at JILA, Ana Maria Rey works across the disciplines of atomic, molecule, optical and condensed-matter physics. With the goal of using mathematical models to describe the complex behavior of nature, Professor Rey’s research on ultracold optical-lattice systems (a crisscrossing set of laser beams) is contributing to advances in quantum simulation and quantum information. Ultimately, her research may lead to the ability to engineer materials with unique characteristics, such as superfluids, liquids that appear to move without regard to gravity; and quantum magnets, individual atoms that act like tiny bar magnets. Her research could contribute to the development of more accurate clocks and global positioning systems and more powerful computers. Widely respected as a mentor for young scientists, Professor Rey leads a large and productive group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. In 2013, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. She has been with JILA since 2012 and joined the physics department in 2008.