Women of Quantum Technology: Samira Elghaayda of the University of Hassan II Casablanca
The increased accessibility and popularity of quantum computing quickly inspire a new generation of students to dive further into this technology. Among this new generation is Samira Elghaayda, a Ph.D. student in quantum information at the University of Hassan II Casablanca, Morocco. For Samira, the interest in quantum computing came from its multifaceted nature. “Quantum technology has always attracted me because it represents a fascinating intersection between physics, mathematics, and informatics,” Samira told Inside Quantum Technology. “The potential of quantum technology to revolutionize computing, communication, and other fields by exploiting the unique properties of quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement, is hugely interesting.”
This interest originally began for Samira during her undergraduate studies. She explained, “I was particularly drawn to courses and research opportunities related to quantum mechanics. As I delved deeper into the subject, I became captivated by the potential applications of quantum technology. This passion led me to pursue a Ph.D. on quantum correlations in open quantum systems, where I could contribute to the growing field of quantum research by protecting correlations from environmental noise.” As Africa quickly becomes a quantum hub, the University of Hassan II Casablanca offers unique opportunities for Samira to network and collaborate with other quantum researchers.
Studying quantum information, Elghaayda appreciates that she is at the forefront of developing a unique, innovative technology. “My research concentrates on understanding and exploiting the complexities of quantum entanglement and correlations in complex and dynamic environments,” she elaborated. “This work can advance our understanding of quantum information and contribute to developing practical noise-resistant quantum technologies.” While many other research groups are also looking at quantum entanglement to improve the transmission of quantum information, Samira’s work at the University of Hassan II Casablanca is part of a wider context aimed at advancing the use of quantum resources in open quantum systems as part of quantum technology.
Not only is Samira interested in understanding how quantum physics can influence the next generation of technology, but she also has a huge passion for making the quantum ecosystem more inclusive. “Improving diversity in the quantum industry is essential to its long-term success,” she added. “To achieve this, several strategies can be implemented: Promote STEM education and outreach programs that target under-represented groups to encourage participation in quantum science and technology.” She continued by stating, “Establish mentoring programs and support networks that can advise and assist people from underrepresented backgrounds who wish to enter the field. Lastly, highlight the achievements and contributions of diverse professionals in the quantum industry to serve as role models and inspire others to pursue careers in this field.”
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 Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.