Unitary Fund

Because evolution is unitary.

Meet the UF Interns – Maria Maryam

Maria Maryam

I was introduced to the Unitary Fund through The Coding School’s - Qubit x Qubit Early Quantum Career Immersion Program for undergraduate students. In June 2022, After three weeks of rigorous quantum computing training with Qubit x Qubit, I began my seven-week internship with the Unitary Fund. When I applied to the program and began learning about quantum computing, I had very little knowledge and experience in both quantum and classical computing. After learning the basics of quantum computing, I was eager to start my work with Unitary Fund and learn even more through hands-on work.

My Background

I am a second-year student at CUNY Queens College where I am double majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics. I am interested in machine learning, NLP, quantum computing, and any form of software development that is able to reach and help people.

The Internship

The first two weeks of my internship were part-time, during which I got to know the team and the projects better. Our first assignment was to make ten submissions to Metriq, in a week. This required a ton of reading through research papers, trying to understand tensor networks, and attempting to extract results from jargon-filled and oversaturated papers. Although it was not easy, it was incredibly beneficial for multiple reasons. The obvious reason is that I learned a great deal about quantum computing and scientific papers in general. I also got very familiar with the user interface of Metriq, which would be very beneficial for me in the coming weeks.

The second week was very similar, we had to add ten more submissions to Metriq, and we also had to open issue tickets on Github, things that could be improved regarding the user interface, or bugs that we noticed while making submissions. Much like the first week, I learned a lot and met with new people on the community Discord server. I love how open and diverse the community is because as a woman of color, it is difficult to find spaces that are welcoming, especially in the tech community. Everyone was extremely kind and helpful whether they were researchers at different companies or other students like me.

After the first two weeks, we began working full time, and this is when I truly got my first taste of web development and programming in general. We spent a few days setting up the web development environment which isn’t easy to do remotely, but Dan was immensely helpful and patient when I couldn't figure out how to clone a repository.

After setting up, we finally got to work behind the scenes of Metriq. We started updating data transfer object models and learning a great deal from Dan about data and how it is stored and moved. After updating the models, we tested the models to make sure each workflow was working as it should have been. The weeks we spent working on this were extremely exciting. Even though I didn’t completely understand everything, I enjoyed learning something new every day. I also appreciated the fact that Dan and Vincent trusted us with helping them improve their incredible hard work, Metriq.

The task I was most proud of completing during the internship was a front-end issue ticket that I solved. I added additional functionality to a button through the enter button. This was quite exhilarating albeit challenging. Making changes to the front-end of an application is especially exciting as a new developer because those changes can be seen by anyone and they are more tangible than other changes.

My experience as an intern at the Unitary Fund is one that I will cherish forever. It was my first experience in a professional setting, and I have learned a ton, not just technical skills but soft skills as well. I am extremely grateful that everyone decided to give me a chance to learn. The patience and kindness I was met with made this an unforgettable experience. I will definitely be contributing to open source projects of all types because of the Unitary Fund. Thank you to Karen Rezkalla for being a great friend and fellow intern during this journey. And finally, a huge thank you to the whole team, especially Dan and Nathan, for being an amazing group of mentors.

Stay up to date with what Maria is working on by following her on GitHub and LinkedIn!

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