The 2013 S2 A3 Medal Scholar – Ryan Baruch Sweke
PhD student Mr Ryan Sweke was awarded the 2013 Medal Scholar award for the research conducted in his MSc Degree under the supervision of Professor Francesco Petruccione.
His MSc dissertation was titled: Dissipative Preparation of Entanglement in Cavity QED.
‘To be honest, my nomination for this award came as a complete surprise,’ said Sweke who is currently registered for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Ilya Sinayskiy. Both Petruccione and Sinayskiy are attached to the Centre for Quatumn Technologies at the University.
Sweke was born in Johannesburg and attended high school in Pretoria. After completing his secondary schooling, he was certain he wanted a career in the natural sciences. Initially he began studying biology, but quickly realised his fascination lay in the generalisation and abstraction of mathematics and the power it contained to describe broadly related aspects of the natural world.
He completed his BSc and BSc (Hons) degrees at the University of Cape Town.
‘My research is in the broad field of Quantum Information Science which aims to use information theoretic concepts – the mathematical theory behind our modern computers – to gain insight into quantum mechanics and conversely to use quantum mechanics to gain insight into information theory,’ said Sweke.
‘My MSc was focused on developing interesting methods for the production of entanglement, which is a key feature of quantum mechanics and which has turned out to be a crucial resource for the processing of quantum information; a generalisation of the regular information processed by our everyday computers,’ explained Sweke.
Sweke says the success he has enjoyed in his studies stems directly from relationships he has forged in his field over the years as well as the input of his friends and family.
‘I have also been fortunate enough to study and work with a large variety of extremely talented and motivated individuals. I also feel particularly strongly that the influence of my friends and family has been invaluable in developing a broader understanding of the world and staying happy and healthy.’
Sweke said receiving the Scholar Award was a great honour. ‘I feel extremely strongly that as young South Africans and aspiring academics it is absolutely crucial that we compete on an international level and enable ourselves to participate in dialogues related to our field on a global scale.’
Sweke has recently become interested in rock climbing and mountaineering. He also maintains an ardent interest in music, horticulture, literature and travelling. He hopes, over the next few years, to travel extensively in sub-Saharan Africa.