Cindy Yang is the winner of the inaugural Raymond Laflamme and Janice Gregson Graduate Scholarship for Women in Quantum Information Science.
The new award honours physics and astronomy professor Raymond Laflamme, also an Officer of the Order of Canada, and his partner Janice Gregson, for their leadership at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) through Ray’s 15-year tenure as Executive Director (2002-2017). Their commitment to IQC has helped it become one of the top quantum information research institutes in the world. The award is given to a self-identified female IQC graduate student who has achieved academic excellence and shows a strong potential for research excellence.
The winner, Yang, a new Master of Applied Science student in Electrical and Computer Engineering (quantum information) has a passion for acoustic and superconducting waves who discovered quantum information science while learning how to make photonic devices. She was instantly intrigued by the possibilities that quantum research offered her.
“Quantum research is challenging,” Yang said. “A lot of time research work can feel trivial, but in quantum, any little step is big. It’s a lot of firsts. I’m so thankful for this scholarship because it will allow me to focus on my research. I have a lot of learning to do.”
Yang is thankful to the Laflamme family for their support. “I feel delighted, honoured and grateful to be the first recipient of this scholarship,” said Yang. “I hope my work can contribute to the field of quantum information non-trivially.”
For Laflamme, Yang is the type of curious researcher that he believes will shape the future of the quantum information field. Scientific discoveries, he notes, are made when a wide variety of ideas and perspectives come together to think critically and investigate.
“We need to encourage all researchers to be curious, and to follow that curiosity,” Laflamme and Gregson said. “This scholarship is to attract to IQC outstanding women studying quantum information, and it is our hope that through this support they can use their curiosity to explore, develop and advance our understanding of the quantum world.”