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Women of Quantum Technology: Ashlyn Hanson of AWS’s Amazon Braket

Ashlyn Hanson of AWS's Amazon Braket discusses her journey into the quantum industry and wider ecosystem.
By Kenna Hughes-Castleberry posted 10 Apr 2024

As the quantum industry grows, much of the growth is due to younger, curious individuals coming into the ecosystem. Ashlyn Hanson‘s career in quantum technology at AWS’s Amazon Braket highlights the burgeoning role of these young, innovative minds in shaping the future of quantum computing. Hanson’s quantum journey began with an internship at Amazon Braket in 2020, where she was introduced to quantum circuits. “I was fascinated by how it all worked,” she recalled to Inside Quantum Technology. The novelty of the field and the potential to contribute to foundational developments excited her. Her passion for quantum technology was further fueled by the prospect of its revolutionary applications in the future.

Hanson entered the quantum industry through the Amazon Future Engineer program, which led her to internships with Amazon Braket’s Quantum Computing team. “Each internship deepened my understanding and passion for the field,” she said. Her enthusiasm for working with quantum circuits and collaborating with leading quantum scientists and engineers cemented her decision to pursue a full-time role in quantum technology.

Now, in her current role as a Software Development Engineer on the Amazon Braket Quantum Computing team, Hanson focuses on making quantum research more accessible and user-friendly. “I actively work on simplifying processes and restructuring complex workflows,” she explained. “Amazon Braket provides a single place for customers to explore and build quantum algorithms, test them on quantum circuit simulators, and run them on different quantum hardware technologies.” Hanson aims to demystify the developer’s experience with quantum technologies, making it easier for all stakeholders to understand and apply its advancements.

As a woman in this growing ecosystem, Hanson believes diversity enhances creativity and innovation in quantum technology and its associated communities. She advocates for more education and awareness, an inclusive culture, and equal career opportunities. “Collaboration with educational institutions to encourage diversity from a young age is beneficial,” she suggests. “Having been fortunate enough to receive a scholarship early in my life, I’ve witnessed how a single opportunity can propel individuals from minority backgrounds into successful positions. It is essential to support scholarships, internships, and various outreach programs to attract diverse talent into this industry.”

Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is the Managing Editor at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.

Categories: networks, quantum computing, research, software, women in quantum

Tags: Amazon Braket, Ashlyn Hanson, AWS

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