The best way to know whether you've understood something is when you can explain it.
I've much enjoyed gaining some first experience in presenting my work as a physics student to technical audiences by ...
... representing QuEra at the New Frontiers in Quantum & ML workshop at Perimeter (November 2022) --> talk recording
... contributing two posters at the Physics meets AI summer school at LMU in Munich (September 2022) --> poster abstracts
... presenting our "quantum-magical" winter school project at Perimeter (February 2022) together with my PSI-sisters Astha, Carol and Anna B --> quantum magic slides
... pitching the open-source platform Bloqade at the Canadian Graduate Quantum Conference (CGQC) in January next year!
I've also had a lot of fun explaining science, math and computing to broader audiences by ...
... interviewing Prof. Lavinia Heisenberg on her theoretical work on gravity, astronaut aspirations and support for women in science for the magazine Sterne & Weltraum (December 2021) --> interview
... or writing goofy blog posts on Category Theory as part of the ACT Adjoint School 2021 --> part 1, part 3.
I am a strong believer in achieving goals together. More broadly, I see life as a communal process of creating. Hence, my main goal in life is to bring people together around shared values that emerge from and change through conversation.
So far, my efforts in this respect have been centered mostly around the theme of climate change.
Here is a summary of previous projects during my undergrad at ETH, Zurich:
- During my first semesters, I became increasingly involved in the Student Sustainability Commission. There, my work focused on creating a community to bundle the motivation of individual students from all disciplines.
- Similarly, I asked the more specific question of "How can physicists contribute to solving the climate crisis?". To generate discussion in our own physics department, I organized the Sustainability Week @DPHYS 2021 and launched an interview series.
- I also discussed in depth how to achieve a net-zero university with staff from all corners of ETH - the finance and infrastructure department, ETH Foresight and the ETH Air Travel Project, professors working on carbon capture... These discussions converged in my final semester in spring 2021, when we wrote the internal white paper ETH NettoNull for the Executive Board. First steps towards its implementation are being made.
- Before graduating from ETH, I wanted to pass this conviction on to future students. Hence, I pulled together The EarTH Magazine - Edition Cooperation. Stories of teamwork, compiled from all levels of ETH.
A lesson I learnt overall: Culture eats strategy for breakfast. (Peter Drucker)
Now, I am building on these experiences at my current home at Perimeter Institute, Canada. Together with researchers and admin, I formed a climate action working group last year. Our aim was and is to generate an internal culture of "every job is a climate job", even when you are working at a theoretical physics institute.
In the new year of 2023, I'm excited to organize events together with PI's anti-racism group exploring how to balance two themes: On the one hand, solving climate change through technological innovation such as new energy sources. On the other hand, integrating indigenous knowledge and rewilding the world, thus making the connection between climate change and biodiversity. In this regard, I much enjoyed and can highly recommend the following books:
- All We Can Save (Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katherine K. Wilkinson, 2021)
- A Life on Our Planet (David Attenborough, 2020)
- Braiding Sweetgrass (Robin Wall Kimmerer, 2013)
Feel free to also peek into the Open Climate Edition of the Branch magazine - a colorful collection of pieces to which I contributed a physics' student perspective in the article The Fermi Problem of Climate Change (August 2022). It's a personal attempt to get to grips with the orders of magnitude of carbon emissions by putting the typical footprint of a physicist in perspective of the global problem.
I try to write about what I care about. Sometimes I make a video, too :)
--> Check out the Who Cares? project, launched with friends at ETH Zurich in summer 2021. Thanks to the whole team for making the interview ConCERNed for Humanity with Michael Dittmar possible!
--> I should also get back to thoughts I had on big data & privacy back when I started my undergrad in 2018.
In Zurich, I absolutely loved curating a couple of editions of VAMP - the magazine of physics and math students at ETH. Here's a collection:
Check out my GitHub account for more random fun such as...
... automating RWA approximations for the HyQu Group at ETH Zurich (May 2021),
... implementing MCMC simulations in the language of category theory (July 2021),
... documenting my success in connecting to eduroam on archlinux :p
Or have a read of my 4-month stay in China! :D