Monika grew up in McLean, Virginia, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, she studied Chemistry and Physics with a secondary concentration in Mathematics. She eventually found the intersection of her interests to lie in quantum mechanics and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in experimental atomic physics at MIT. There, in the laboratory of Prof. Vladan Vuletic, she is presently working toward generating entangled states of an ensemble of laser-cooled atoms. One such state could be applied in an atomic clock to approach the fundamental limit on precision imposed by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
Outside the lab, Monika enjoys playing the violin and spending time outdoors, mostly rowing or running. She has completed the Boston Marathon annually since 2005 and hopes to continue the tradition until she graduates.