CSPS Digital Academy Events/Understanding Quantum Computing and What It Means for the Public Service - Speaker Biographies

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Date and time: February 5, 2021 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (ET)

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Speaker Biographies

Carolyn Watters

Chief Digital Research Officer, National Research Council Canada
Dr. Carolyn Watters joined the NRC in February 2019 as the organization’s inaugural Chief Digital Research Officer, including oversight of the Digital Technologies Research Centre. Dr. Watters joined the NRC through the Interchange program, on secondment from Dalhousie University.

Dr. Watters, who has a PhD in Computer Science, served as the Provost and Vice President Academic for Dalhousie University, one of Canada’s oldest research universities, from 2010 to 2018. While Provost she served for a term as the Chair of the U15 Provost’s Academic Committee. Dr. Watters was one of the founding members of CALDO, a consortium of four and later nine Canadian research universities to build partnerships with universities in Latin America. She has engaged widely in quality assurance including a term as Chair of the Maritimes Higher Education Commission. Previously she was the Dean of Graduate studies including a term as the president of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies. During that time she led international initiatives in partnership with the US Council of Graduate Schools.

She remains a Full Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, specializing in human computer engagement in information spaces from documents to social media. Her interdisciplinary and collaborative work has spanned all three National research funding councils: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Watters has been a member of a NSERC Discovery Grant committee, the NSERC Discovery Grant Process Review Panel, the initial Chair of the NSERC Create Competition Committee, a member of the SSHRC Governing Council, and the Research Council for Mitacs.

Phil Kaye

Deputy Director and Program Manager, National Research Council Canada
Dr. Phil Kaye graduated in the first PhD cohort from Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing in 2007. From 2004 to 2018 he served in a variety of roles with the Government of Canada’s Communications Security Establishment, primarily as a trusted advisor on the impacts of quantum technologies. From 2004 to 2010, he was the Program Reporter for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Quantum Information Processing Program. In 2007, Phil co-authored a seminal textbook on quantum algorithms (“An Introduction to Quantum Computing”, Kaye, Laflamme, Mosca, 2007). From 2018 to 2020, he worked for D-Wave Systems as Program Director, Corporate Affairs. In 2019 he co-founded and chaired Quantum Industry Canada (QIC), a consortium representing over 24 Canadian quantum technology companies. Presently, Phil is serving as the Deputy Program Director for the National Research Council’s Quantum Sensors Challenge Program, as well as the Lead for NRC’s Applied Quantum Computing Initiative. In his spare time, Phil pilots an airplane that he built in his garage, plays the guitar and composes music.

Daria Ahrensmeier

Adjunct Professor and Educational Consultant, Simon Fraser University
Daria Ahrensmeier is a theoretical physicist specializing in physics education and educational development at Simon Fraser University. She did her PhD in particle physics and has postdoctoral experience in adiabatic quantum computing. She has taught students in physics, engineering, mathematics, and other sciences at half a dozen universities, always aiming to improve student learning with new teaching tools, formats, and technologies. Her educational development work ranges from course and program design to professional development for instructors at various stages of their careers. Currently, Daria serves as the chair of the program development committee for the new Quantum Algorithms Institute hosted by SFU and is working with an interdisciplinary network of colleagues to create inspiring new learning experiences.

Michele Mosca

Co-Founder and Professor, Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo
Dr. Mosca is a founder of the Institute for Quantum Computing, Professor in the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization at the University of Waterloo, and a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

He is globally recognized for his drive to help academia, industry and government prepare our cyber systems to be safe in an era with quantum computers. He co-founded evolutionQ Inc. to provide services and products that enable organizations to evolve their quantum-vulnerable systems and practices to quantum-safe ones. He was a founder of the ETSI-IQC workshop series in Quantum-Safe Cryptography. He co-founded softwareQ Inc. to help organizations benefit from the power of quantum computers.

He worked on cryptography during his BMath (Waterloo) and MSc (Oxford) and obtained his Doctorate (Oxford) on Quantum Computer Algorithms.

His research interests include quantum computation and cryptographic tools designed to be safe against quantum technologies.

Andrew Fursman

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, 1Qbit
Andrew Fursman is a Co-Founder of 1QBit and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Andrew was a Co-Founder of Satellogic Nano-Satellites, and Co-Founder of Cloudtel Communications. Andrew sits on the World Economic Forum Computing Futures Council and the IEEE Quantum Computing Standards Committee. Andrew is a fellow at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, as well, a faculty member at Singularity University.