“Hello World!”

“Hello World!”
The above is a photo that I took on campus, when completing my research paper.

Hello World! My name is Jenay Patel and I am thrilled to be part of this year’s PRACE Summer of HPC (SoHPC). More specifically, I am super excited to get involved with my project, focusing on molecular dynamics on quantum computers – yes, I’m a nerd.

I’m 23 years old and I was born in Leicester, England in the UK. I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham during which, I completed a 12-month placement at IBM as a Software Developer. This is where my interest in computing was sparked. I started to realise how much we rely on technology as a society, and that the solutions to most of our problems facing humanity are found within this field; such as how we’re going to tackle climate change and cure life-changing diseases!

After this realisation, I wanted to use my knowledge in both engineering and computing to contribute to the next digital era. One day, I fell into a YouTube rabbit hole where I found myself watching short videos on quantum computing, and I immediately became obsessed with the idea. I experimented with IBM’s Quantum Experience between my university lectures, and the more I learnt, the more inquisitive I became about how quantum is used across STEM. I was eager to get real experience in this field that I felt so strongly about, which is how I ended up at PRACE SoHPC this summer!

Starting my Quantum Journey

My natural strengths have always lied in the maths and sciences, and they are subjects which I enjoy and appreciate. This led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Engineering, where I was able to use these subjects alongside nurturing creativity, and learning to tackle real-world problems. As I was coming to the end of being in full-time education, I was looking to expend my energy on something I value, and in parallel, steer my career in the quantum direction. 

So, I applied to the SoHPC “Molecular Dynamics on Quantum Computers” project, which seemed like the perfect way to kickstart my quantum career. As you can imagine, when I received the acceptance email for the project, I was over the moon. I was being offered the chance to carry out scientific and computing research with Europe’s top researchers – you just can’t say no!

As a result, I am working with the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre, which is located in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Although I am disappointed that I will not be able to explore the site and country this summer, I have enjoyed meeting my mentor and site co-ordinator virtually, who have offered support during my time at IT4Innovations.

I have already loved being part of a collaborative environment, and working with people from different countries and backgrounds. Having diversity in the scientific and computing community, means more point of views, each of which has been shaped by individual experiences. Before starting SoHPC, I attended a conference called “Diversity in Quantum Computing” which highlighted the need for diversity if we, as scientists and researchers, want to expedite the quantum revolution!


So, what happens when you start the programme? Well, today I finished my first week of SoHPC, which was a training week or “bootcamp” consisting of lectures and tutorials. This short training programme covered topics such as: Python in HPC, OpenMP, and MPI, and was an excellent way to bring everyone up to speed with HPC fundamental concepts. However, the highlight of my week was joining a zoom call with my mentor and fellow intern, as everyone was so welcoming and instantly made me feel at ease.

A photo of my peers and I during training week.

Next Steps

In the next week, I will keep myself busy with Qiskit, NumPy and SciPy tutorials that my mentor recommended. We’ll need these to understand how to implement linear algebra and numerical methods when working with quantum chemistry. I’m looking forward to reading and understanding them, before meeting my mentor again next week, and diving further into the project!

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