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Juan Ataides

Error corrector

Pablo Bonilla Ataides and Dr Ben Brown. Image Louise Cooper

Pablo has always had a keen interest in maths and physics. At just 15 years old, his talent was noticed by the University of Sydney, who invited him to work on a research project. Six years later – as a 21-year-old Bachelor of Science Honours student at the university – Pablo published his first scientific paper. It was groundbreaking.

For the paper, Pablo had fiddled with code that had been used to correct errors in quantum computing for nearly two decades. Working with university researchers, he tweaked the code, effectively doubling its ability to snuff out errors. It has since been used widely around the world, including in Amazon Web Services’ quantum computing program.

“I am particularly thankful to the Sydney Quantum Academy for awarding me with a summer scholarship where I had the chance to wrap up the paper and work on other exciting quantum projects,” he says.

Curiosity, hard work and focus

After graduating recently, Pablo has been snapped up by California-based startup PsiQuantum. There, he is currently an Intern Quantum Architect working on quantum error correction for a quantum computer that will run on light-based technologies. 

“PsiQuantum amalgamates leaders from software engineering, maths and physics, and I get to probe their minds and learn from them daily,” he says. “It’s a truly rewarding experience.”

Pablo puts his success so far down to exercising curiosity, working hard, being focused, showing humility and learning to communicate and build relationships with other researchers. But he’s far from done yet. 

“I want to complete a PhD in quantum and keep being involved in the international effort to build a quantum computer,” Pablo says. “I’m not sure down which path this will take me but I’m excited to see where I end up!” 

Juan’s pathway

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