About me

Hi! My name is Sai Kanth, I am a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Maryland. In 2016, I graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras with a Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) degree in Engineering Physics.

My research interests lie in the broad area of photonics. Optical communication, nonlinear optics and multimode fiber optics are of specific interest to me. Through my work during my bachelor’s degree, my summer research at Caltech’s LIGO Laboratory and my current doctoral research, I have discovered my interest in the applications of photonics in modern day technologies and scientific experiments, from subsea fiber-optical communication to gravitational wave detectors. The potential to use light in novel ways to improve our understanding of the universe or to push the limits of technology is what inspires me.

Current Research

I am currently working with Prof. Thomas E. Murphy as part of the Photonics Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland. My current work is on experimental investigation of nonlinear optics in multimode fibers. Despite having been around since before the advent of the single mode fiber, nonlinear optics in multimode fibers remains, to this day, relatively understudied. Over the past few years, there has been a revival of interest in understanding nonlinear optics in these systems. As few-mode fibers and multimode fibers become more prevalent in longer-distance networks, and with the advent of techniques for spatially-multiplexed optical amplification, nonlinear effects in these fibers are expected to play an increasingly important role. Currently, we are focused on developing and employing high-resolution spatiotemporal characterization tools to better understand the physics governing intermodal nonlinearity. More on my current and previous research here.


The projects that I have worked on over the years have ranged from purely numerical/computational to heavily experimental. I have experience working in experimental optics laboratories, including the use of laser systems, fiber and free-space optics, imaging systems, high-speed measurements, automated data acquisition and data analysis. On the numerical side, I’m comfortable with the use of MATLAB/Python for numerical simulations of guided wave systems. For more on the projects that I have taken up over the years, please visit the Projects page.

Other Interests

I am an avid photographer and biker. I enjoy spending my free time reading, cooking and learning new things. I love playing Chess and boardgames. Lately, I’ve taken up a bit of painting and writing. You can read more about my interests here.