Information for

Quantum Innovators in computer science and math participants

Miriam Backens András Gilyén Alexander Müller-Hermes
Ana Belen-Sainz Nelly Huei Ying Anand Natarajan
Juani Bermejo-Vega Angela Karanjai Maria Schuld
Alex Bredariol Grilo Kohtaro Kato Florian Speelman
Michael Beverland Felix Leditzky Aarthi Sundaram
Andrea Coladangelo Tongyang Li Naïri Usher
Nadish de Silva Ryan Mann Anna Vershynina
Yfke Dulek Alex Moylett  

Miriam Backens, University of Oxford

Miriam Backens is a postdoctoral researcher working with Leslie Ann Goldberg in the Algorithms and Complexity group of the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. They are interested in the theory of quantum computing and in computational complexity, both classical and quantum. Their current work focuses on applying techniques from quantum information theory to the (classical) complexity analysis of counting problems. Miriam also works on properties and applications of high-level graphical languages for quantum computation which arise from category theory. Previously, Miriam was a postdoc with Ashley Montanaro at the School of Mathematics, University of Bristol. They completed their doctorate in the Quantum Group at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, in 2016, supervised by Bob Coecke and Samson Abramsky. Miriam holds an MMath and a BA in Physics from the University of Cambridge.

Ana Belen-Sainz, University of Oxford, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Quantum Foundations group at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. My research mainly focuses on the characterisation of quantum phenomena, with special interest on the possibilities and limitations of quantum technologies. I am originally from Argentina, and did my undergraduate studies at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. My first research activities were supervised by Prof. Ricardo Zamar, at the NRM research group, on theoretical aspects of the dynamics of spins in liquid crystals. Afterwards, I moved to Barcelona to learn and work on Bell nonlocality, among other nonclassical phenomena. There I did both my Master and PhD theses under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Acín at ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences. Before my current appointment, I spent a couple of years as a postdoc in the group of Prof. Popescu at the University of Bristol. In my personal time I enjoy doing pottery, playing cello, and volunteering for charities.

Juani Bermejo-Vega, Freie Universität Berlin

Juani Bermejo-Vega (1987, Cáceres, Spain) is a Spanish physicist and computer scientist working on quantum computation, simulation, complexity theory and quantum foundations. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Free University of Berlin (2016-2018). Her recent work has focused on quantum computational devices showing quantum advantages, and resource theories of quantum computational power. In her PhD thesis, “Normalizer Circuits and Quantum Computation”, Technical University of Munich & Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (2012-2016, summa cum laude), she introduced an algebraic classical simulation formalism for the study of quantum computer algorithms. In her master thesis (Technical University of Munich in 2011), she worked on quantum algorithms for hidden subgroup problems under a La Caixa – DAAD fellowship for postgraduate studies. Juani Bermejo-Vega is an advocate for promoting equity, diversity and inclusivity in science. She is a cofounder and steering-board member of the quantum information workshop “Q-Turn: changing paradigms in quantum science”, which features talks and discussions on diversity and inclusion in quantum science as well as scientific talks. She is also co-founder and former member of the Max Planck Equal Opportunity group (2014-2018). Juani Bermejo-Vega graduated in physics (2010) and computer science (2011) from the University of Salamanca, Spain. As an undergraduate student, Juani Bermejo-Vega received a first prize in the XX Young Investigator Contest ( XX Certamen de Jóvenes Investigadores, 2008 ) for the work “Treatment of preterm infants: a natural approach” on design of non-invasive neonatal intensive care units.



Alex Bredariol Grilo, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Alex Bredariol Grilo obtained his PhD in Université Paris Diderot, under the supervision of Iordanis Kerenidis. Before that, he did his Master and Bachelor studies in Computer Science at University of Campinas, Brazil. Currently, Alex is a postdoctoral researcher at QuSoft and CWI, hosted by Ronald de Wolf and Stacey Jeffery.

Alex is interested in (quantum) complexity theory and (quantum) cryptography, mostly in the interplay of both. Some problems of particular interest are the Quantum PCP conjecture and the task of verifiable delegation of quantum computation by classical clients.

Michael Beverland, Microsoft

I am a researcher in quantum computing, specializing in quantum error correction and fault tolerance. I did my postdoctoral work with Krysta Svore at Microsoft Research, my doctoral work with John Preskill at Caltech, and undergraduate studies in Cambridge, England. I am particularly interested in the following topics: topological codes, universal quantum gates, scalable fault tolerant quantum computing, code switching, noise models, statistical mechanical approaches to quantum error correction.

Andrea Coladangelo, California Institute of Technology

Andrea is a PhD student in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences department at Caltech, supervised by Thomas Vidick. He obtained a bachelor degree in Mathematics from the University of Oxford in 2014, and completed Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge in 2015. His research is primarily in theoretical quantum information. He is particularly interested in quantum cryptography, especially device-independent certification of quantum devices and delegated quantum computation. He is also interested in classical cryptography and consensus algorithms. Andrea is originally from Milan, Italy.

Nadish de Silva, University College London

I am a mathematical physicist working in the Department of Computer Science, UCL where I am the Researcher Co-Investigator of the EPSRC-funded project Contextuality as a resource in quantum computation: a collaboration between UCL and the University of Oxford headed by Simone Severini and Samson Abramsky. Broadly, my research interests include quantum information & computation; nonlocality & contextuality; and operator algebras & noncommutative geometry. I am keenly interested in helping to elucidate the structural origins of computational and communicational advantages in both concrete quantum models and abstract postclassical models. This question sits at the foundations of logic, computer science, and physics. I recently spent a semester as a Visiting Scientist at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, I completed my DPhil in Computer Science, supervised by Samson Abramsky and Bob Coecke, at Merton College, University of Oxford. I completed my MSc in Mathematics and my BSc in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Toronto where my supervisor was George Elliott. In Toronto, I was a Visiting Member of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

Yfke Dulek, QuSoft

I am a third-year PhD student in quantum cryptography at QuSoft, the Dutch research center for quantum software. My position is jointly funded by the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI).

My background is in artificial intelligence and mathematical logic. During my master's, I came into contact with quantum computing through one of the courses offered at the university. I was then able to do a master's thesis with Christian Schaffner, who became my PhD supervisor. My research focused on quantum cryptography, including homomorphic encryption, delegated quantum computation, quantum authentication, and verification.

András Gilyén, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

András Gilyén is a PhD student of Ronald de Wolf. He holds a Master's degree from the University of Cambridge (UK), and an MSc in Mathematics from Eötvös University (Budapest, Hungary). András's research mostly focuses on quantum algorithms, related to optimization and combinatorial problems. He is particularly interested in applying smooth functions techniques coming from Hamiltonian simulation results, in order to speed up various quantum optimization procedures, and potentially machine learning applications.

Nelly Huei Ying, Freie Universität Berlin

My research is mainly in the field of quantum information theory. I am interested in understanding how the tools of quantum information can be applied to understanding physics, currently in particular quantum thermodynamics. A main focus of my work is on developing the resource theoretic framework in describing thermodynamic interactions, in particular to address fundamental limits on how well we can control and cool/prepare quantum systems in the presence of their immediate environment. My other research interests include quantum cryptography and properties of smoothed entropic quantities in general. I obtained my PhD in these areas under the supervision of Stephanie Wehner, at the Delft University of Technology. Currently, I am an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Free University of Berlin, hosted by the group of Prof. Jens Eisert.

Angela Karanjai, University of Sydney

Kohtaro Kato, California Institute of Technology

Kohtaro Kato received his Ph.D. (2017) and M.S. (2014) in physics from the University of Tokyo, under supervision of Prof. Mio Murao. During his Ph.D., he characterized entanglement and multipartite correlations in topologically ordered phases, by using information-theoretical techniques. He also did a three-month internship in the Quantum Architectures and Computation group at Microsoft Research in 2015. For the internship he worked on quantum thermal states and quantum Markov chains. He was a research fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science during April 2016 to March 2018. Since June 2017, Kohtaro is a postdoctoral scholar of Institute for Quantum Information and Matters at California Institute of Technology, in the group of Prof. Fernando G.S.L. Brandão. His research interest is to reveal how multipartite correlations behave in quantum many-body systems, such as systems in topologically ordered phases, in thermal equilibrium or fixed-points of dissipative dynamics.

Felix Leditzky, University of Colorado Boulder

Felix Leditzky is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at JILA, University of Colorado Boulder, USA in the group of Graeme Smith. His current research focuses on quantum channel capacities and additivity problems, the mathematics of multipartite entanglement, neural networks and tensor networks ansätze for many-body quantum states, entropy optimization, and numerical methods in quantum information theory. Felix obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK under the supervision of Nilanjana Datta, specializing in quantum information theory, particularly quantum Shannon theory, strong converse theorems, second order asymptotics, and mathematical properties of relative entropies. Prior to his PhD studies, Felix obtained diploma degrees in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Vienna, Austria with a focus on finite group theory, modular representation theory, and noncommutative geometry.

Felix has served as a main organizer for the workshop Rocky Mountain Summit on Quantum Information (JILA, University of Colorado Boulder, June 25-29, 2018; website: and the conference QIP 2019

(University of Colorado Boulder, January 14-18, 2019; website:

In his free time, Felix enjoys playing the guitar and listening to music, reading, playing and watching (European) football (along with most other sports), jogging, swimming, and traveling. He is usually interested in almost everything.

Tongyang Li, The Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science

Tongyang Li is a fourth-year doctoral student at Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland. He received B.E. from Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, Tsinghua University and B.S. from Department of Mathematical Sciences, Tsinghua University, both in 2015. His research focuses on quantum algorithms, including topics such as quantum machine learning, quantum query complexity, and quantum simulation. His current research is sponsored by IBM PhD Fellowship and NSF QISE-NET Triplet Award.

Ryan Mann, University of Technology Sydney

I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Technology Sydney. My research is focused on the complexity of quantum computation and approximate counting of combinatorial structures.

Alex Moylett, University of Bristol

Alex Moylett is a PhD Student within the Quantum Engineering Technology Labs at the University of Bristol, and part of the Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training. Prior to this she studied Computer Science at the University of Bristol, where her Master’s dissertation with Rapha¨el Clifford and Benjamin Sach on implementing low space dictionary matching algorithms won her the departmental prize for Best MEng Computer Science Research Project. Her research specialises in quantum algorithms, with a particular interest in what problems the small and noisy quantum computers of the near future can provide a significant advantage over classical computation. This interest has led to a focus on the subject of quantum advantage problems, such as Boson Sampling, under the constraints one might find in experimental settings. Outside of research, Alex is a keen science communicator, representing her research group at UK science festivals and organising the Bristol branch of the Pint of Science festival for three years. She is also an avid long distance runner, and can regularly be seen running the roads and paths of Bristol. She can be found on Twitter at @aemylt.

Alexander Müller-Hermes, University of Copenhagen

Alexander Müller-Hermes received his PhD in Mathematics from the Technical University Munich in 2015. Since then he has been a postdoc at the University of Copenhagen. His research interests are in quantum information theory with a focus on its mathematical aspects including quantum Shannon theory, the theory of positive maps, quantum divergences, and matrix analysis. Outside of quantum information theory, his proudest achievement is a practical method to cut three circular cakes exactly in half.

Anand Natarajan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Theoretical Physics

I am a postdoc at Caltech working in the theory of quantum computing, supervised by Thomas Vidick. I received by PhD in Physics in June 2018 at MIT, advised by Aram Harrow. My research is mostly in quantum complexity theory, and I am especially interested in nonlocal games and interactive proof systems in the presence of entanglement. I find this topic beautiful for its connections to deep results in classical computer science (the PCP theorem, locally testable codes), quantum Hamiltonian complexity (the various quantum PCP conjectures), and quantum foundations (Tsirelson’s problem, Bell inequalities, and Connes’ embedding conjecture). I am also interested in quantum algorithms, optimization, and cryptography. Before going to MIT I was at Stanford, where I received a BS in Physics and an MS in Computer Science.

Maria Schuld, Xanadu

Maria Schuld received her PhD degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2017 as a fellow of the German Academic Foundation. Her Master’s degree in physics was awarded by the Technical University of Berlin, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Since 2013 she dedicates her research to the design and study of quantum algorithms for machine learning. Maria Schuld is currently a Post-Doc at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and works as a researcher for the Canadian-based quantum computing startup Xanadu.

Florian Speelman, Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica

Florian Speelman performed his Ph.D. research at the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica in Amsterdam, under the supervision of Harry Buhrman, receiving his degree in 2016. He also holds a B.Sc. in Physics and a M.Sc. in Computational Science from the University of Amsterdam. Florian’s research interests include quantum cryptography, computational complexity theory, and communication complexity. The last two years he has been a postdoctoral researcher at QMATH, the Centre for the Mathematics of Quantum Theory, at the University of Copenhagen.

Aarthi Sundaram, The Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science

Aarthi Sundaram is currently a Hartree Postdoctoral Fellow at the Joint Centre for Quantum Information and Computer Science, University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. from the Centre for Quantum Technologies Singapore under the supervision of Miklos Santha in 2017. Her doctorate studies were focused on analyzing the complexity of classical and quantum constraint satisfaction problems in the trial and error model of computation. Her research interests span classical and quantum complexity theory, including quantum algorithms, Hamiltonian complexity and quantum polynomial hierarchies. In particular, she is interested in finding connections between abstract cryptography, mathematical logic and resource theories as well as proving separations between classical and quantum complexity classes. Outside of research she is an avid Formula 1 and racing enthusiast, and loves to peer through her camera lens to capture landscapes, architecture and moments.

Naïri Usher, University College London

Anna Vershynina, University of Houston

Anna Vershynina joined the University of Houston as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics on September 1, 2017.

Vershynina received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2012 under the supervision of Bruno Nachtergaele. Her doctorate studies were focused on the dynamics in open quantum systems, such as Lieb-Robinson bounds in quantum system systems, and micromaser system of two-level atoms in a microwave cavity.

After graduating, Vershynina held a postdoctoral position at Princeton University under the supervision of Elliott Lieb, where she started working on quantum information theory. She subsequently help postdoctoral and research positions at RWTH Aachen University, Technical University of Munich in Germany, and Basque Center for Applied Mathematics in Spain.

Vershynina’s work is focused on mathematical physics, with specialization in quantum theory and quantum information theory. She studies functional-analytic quantum inequalities, open quantum systems, entanglement, and quantum spin systems.

Educational programs

QKD - Quantum Key Distribution Summer School

USEQIP - Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing

QCSYS - Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students

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