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Marika Kieferova

Quantum coder

Marika Kieferova

As a high school student, Marika attended a lot of physics, maths and computer science camps. “I loved the camp community,” she says. 

“While I wasn’t one of the brightest students, I decided to study physics hoping I could still keep up if I worked hard enough.”

Fast forward to today and Marika has shown that she more than kept up. She is now a leading quantum computing scientist, mixing lecturing students with cutting-edge research at the University of Technology Sydney and Google Quantum AI. 

Pushing the limits of quantum computing

“What matters to me is working on fun projects that push the boundary of what we know about the power and limitations of quantum computing,” she says. 

Current quantum devices are too small and noisy to be useful for practical computation. Yet with so much effort and resource being poured into quantum computing, the next generation of devices will no doubt be more powerful, and need the right software.

“The focus of my work is quantum algorithms,” she explains. “I try to understand how we would program and apply quantum computers once we have them.” Of course, programming computers that don’t yet exist is a big challenge, but one she relishes. 

Currently recruiting students for her group, Marika’s advice to any budding quantum researcher is to learn as much maths as possible: “Mathematics is the language of quantum computing and there is always more to learn”.

“My second piece of advice would be to take the initiative and explore opportunities to learn quantum outside of the school curriculum,” she says. “Get in touch with researchers in your area, read quantum textbooks or attend an online conference to learn about quantum.” 

Marika’s pathway

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