Rio Weil

Computational phases of matter on quantum devices
Robert Raussendorf
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I love physics both because it can be so intuitive and unintuitive. Intuitive because it gives us a set of tools to reason about the cool phenomena we see in the world, yet unintuitive because when we focus on small things that we can’t see, the rules get bizarre and unlike anything we’re used to experiencing. I wanted to continue to think about the weirdness of quantum mechanics and how we would harness it in the context of computation, so continuing to do research through graduate school seemed like a great next step! I also love teaching and talking to people about physics and graduate school is a very natural setting to experience that too.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Before pursuing my Masters, I was an undergraduate student at UBC, through which I first gained an appreciation for physics and research in the subfield of quantum information theory. It seemed like a natural step to continue with my studies here! I also love the campus, city, and community.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

My supervisor's research and the community of people in physics and in UBC more generally.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

Just how many things are happening on campus - you're bound to find people and events that match your wavelength perfectly.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

My studies both in physics and mathematics as an undergraduate helped me to curate my toolbox for studying theoretical physics. Having multiple research experiences during my time as an undergrad also helped me to learn about different fields and what interested me the most!

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Bouldering, playing indie games, listening to music, and singing!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take the time to not only submerge yourself in the research you're fascinated by, but also to explore and experience new things - you have a lot more freedom with your time compared to the undergraduate grind.

Although I wish most of my time was spent filling chalkboards with wild symbols and equations, most of the time research looks like reading/writing at my desk and making programs on my computer - but I still carry around a case of speciality chalk everywhere I go in case the situation calls for it!

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