Maksim Makarenko is a Ph.D. student at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where he is currently studying Electrical & Computer Engineering and doing research in the Primalight research group under the supervision of Andrea Fratalocchi. His research interest is developing algorithms for Machine Learning and Optimization implemented into optical hardware. Based on his Ph.D. study, he co-founded the Pixeltra startup company, where he is currently employed as Chief Technical Officer. Before KAUST, he obtained his MS degree in Physics at the Novosibirsk State University.