Saturday, May 12, 2007

My New Hero

She is much cooler than any an actor, sports star, or politico:

Julia Kempe couldn't bring herself to choose between physics and maths, nor between two graduate institutions. So she did two Ph.D.s at once in quantum computation. ...

When, after earning no fewer than four degrees in physics and maths, Kempe was pressed to narrow to a single specialisation, she refused to choose, opting instead for a field--quantum computation--that, as she puts it, combines "actual nature" with "beautiful maths." She went on to earn two more degrees--both Ph.D.s--along with a tenured post at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) (at age 27) and the Irène Joliot-Curie Prize to the most outstanding young female researcher in France. The keys to her success? Lots of talent, obviously--but also an early start and a seemingly insatiable appetite for knowledge.