Jeremy Côté 2021-10-25 17:05:06

Science is a game of exploration, but it’s also a game of communication. If you make a groundbreaking discovery but you lack the skills to communicate it, your discovery won’t amount to much. I suspect most scientists will agree with this sentiment. Communication is important if we want our results to diffuse into the broader community. We also need to communicate when applying for grants and scholarships, or otherwise selling the value of our work.…

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Finding the Story

Science is a game of exploration, but it’s also a game of communication. If you make a groundbreaking discovery but you lack the skills to communicate it, your discovery won’t amount to much. I suspect most scientists will agree with this sentiment. Communication is important if we want our results to diffuse into the broader community. We also need to communicate when applying for grants and scholarships, or otherwise selling the value of our work.…

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A Quantum Summer

After spending a long time on my PhD projects during the past year, I wanted to break away from them and work on something new. That’s why I applied to the Los Alamos Quantum Computer Summer School (I’ll call it QCSS now). The summer school was in its fourth edition, and was virtual like the one last year. First, some preliminaries. Despite the name, QCSS is not really a summer school. It’s closer to a…

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The Clarity of Brevity

As a writer, I’ve spent a lot of time crafting sentences and paragraphs. Writing a sentence is easy. Writing a sentence that communicates the idea in your mind to another is much more challenging. The translation from mind to words to mind again is lossy. There’s a fashionable way to write, which suggests using concise language to make a point. This is particularly true in scientific writing. In the more mathematical sciences, I imagine this…

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Code as Knowledge Distilled

When I was an undergraduate, I did my best to stay away from a computer to do physics. I saw myself as a theorist, and in my head, a good theorist could get everything they wanted done with pencil and paper. I remember one particularly vivid time that I used a computer algebra system to calculate Riemann tensors for my research in gravitation theory, and I hated dealing with the complexity of the program. It…

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Evolving Qubits With Bits

As a quantum theorist, my job is to study quantum systems and understand their inner workings. However, since I’m a theoretical physicist and not a experimental physicist, most of my “experiments” come in the form of simulations. My laboratory is my computer, and this means writing numerical experiments. But wait a second, you tell me. Isn’t the whole point of quantum computers to do things that our regular computers can’t? And aren’t there issues with…

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The Shattering of SAT

If condensed matter theorists have the Ising model, gravitational physicists have the Schwarzschild solution, and quantum foundation theorists have the Bell inequalities, then theoretical computer scientists have satisfiability, or SAT. In the world of computer science (and particularly computational complexity), many discussions inevitably circle back to SAT. In fact, SAT isn’t just something that theoretical computer scientists study. Satisfiability has a rich history with statistical physics, a field which wields powerful tools to probe the…

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Let’s hear more from the women who leave academia (Part 2)

After the publication of my previous post, I received an email from Dr Sian Grigg, who decided to leave academia following the completion of her PhD. Read on below to hear her story. Dear Kaitlin Thanks for thinking of us who did not continue! I have often thought about this question and still wonder, after 15 years, whether I should have tried harder to pursue a career in academia. And whether I might now try…

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