Donovan Slabbert

Donovan is a second year PhD student (as of January 2024) working in the field of quantum machine learning (QML), which is a sub-discipline of quantum computing. He is mostly interested in applying it to astrophysical and astronomical datasets and wants to explore the usual suspects: classification, clustering, and anomaly detection of various objects that can be found in our universe. He started his physics journey in 2017 at University of Pretoria (Tuks) where he majored in physics and minored in mathematics and radio astronomy. Having just discovered quantum computing during his Honours and completed an introductory project implementing Grover’s algorithm, he decided to pursue quantum technology for his postgraduate studies.

This decision took him to the University of Witwatersrand, where he joined the Wits Structured Light Laboratory that is led by Prof. Andrew Forbes. He submitted his Master’s thesis early 2022 titled: High-Dimensional Entanglement in the Spatial Basis, that contained a discussion on how entangled photon pairs could be experimentally generated and manipulated for use in application such as quantum key distribution.

Wanting to return to a more computationally focused research topic, he decided to focus solely on quantum computing. He volunteered part-time at IBMQ Research South Africa, working on introductory quantum chemistry problems before finally deciding to commit to a full-time PhD in quantum machine learning under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Petruccione at Stellenbosch University. He is a passionate football fan and amateur field hockey player that also occasionally plays chess and squash. Donovan absolutely loves chocolate ice cream.

Quantinuum Quantum Computing Hackathon

Horizon Quantum Computing Hackathon

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