Welcome to the Simon Lab at the University of Chicago, where we explore the quantum frontier using ultracold atomic and photonic gases! As atomic physicists and the first generation of quantum engineers, we build and study designer many-body systems. Degenerate quantum gases are a fantastic platform for this work due to our exquisite control of their microscopic properties: we choose the "laws" for our synthetic materials and investigate the exotic and intricate behaviors that emerge. At the interface between condensed matter physics and quantum information science, we probe material systems in previously unimagined ways. This work contributes both to our fundamental understanding of strongly correlated systems, and to the next generation of quantum materials and quantum information processors.