David Layden - Dissertation du lauréat, 2016

David Layden

Microscopic objects can behave rather strangely; for instance, they can be in two different places at once. Their odd behaviour is due to the fact that very small things obey the laws of quantum mechanics, as opposed to Newton’s laws. While the microscopic “weirdness” of quantum mechanics is interesting in its own right, it also underpins several emerging technologies. These quantum technologies promise to revolutionize numerous fields, from pharmaceutical drug design to high-performance computing. I strive to help bring quantum technologies from the whiteboard to the real world.

I began pursuing my career goal as an undergraduate student in Mathematical Physics at the University of Waterloo, Canada’s quantum technology hub. I sought out co-op jobs that would afford me the varied hands-on experience necessary to dive into the interdisciplinary world of quantum technologies. For instance, I developed my experimental abilities while working at the Institute for Quantum Computing, my analytical skills at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and my computational abilities at CERN.

I am currently pursuing a Master’s in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, developing theoretical tools to help realize quantum technologies. I have published several peer-reviewed papers on my work, and presented my research at numerous international conferences. My next step towards my career goal will be to pursue a doctoral degree, where I will continue to make use of my varied research experience to help bridge the gap between what quantum technologies can do in theory, and what they can do in practice.