Elisa Torres Durney
Girls in Quantum
Elisa Torres Durney, 17, is a Chilean Student and founder of the organization: Girls in Quantum.
Elisa has been curious about learning since she was a kid. Her childhood was filled with a variety of artistic and scientific interests, such as ballet dancing, painting with her grandfather, and later, joining the DIY and drama club. All while being an explorer and the happiest girl with her microscope. She recalls playing with leaves, insects, and flowers, as well as going to a nearby mountain at night with her mum and friend to observe the many frog species. But it wasn’t until middle school that she was able to strengthen her scientific skills by studying physics, biology, and chemistry separately. It was a fantastic experience for her to visit her school’s lab. She liked the idea of being able to explore with real tools and scientific samples. It was then that she discovered she had a strong passion for science.
When the pandemic began, Elisa, like most of her classmates, was frustrated, especially because she couldn’t go to the lab and spend time with her friends in other activities, but the entire digital world was extremely helpful to her. In 2021, she completed the 8-month Introduction to Quantum Computing program with a full scholarship from IBM. Where she realized the great potential of this emerging technology; and the few women and girls involved. That is why at the end of the program, in April of 2022, Elisa founded her organization, Girls in Quantum, to provide educational resources on quantum computing to international students. She states that she is fortunate enough to work with an excellent team of ambassadors of the organization from Germany, India, Egypt, the United States, Spain, Mexico and Latin American countries, without them this wouldn’t be possible.
They create and share interactive and easy-to-understand content (in English, Spanish, and Tamil) through their website and social media, with which they have managed to impact more than 1000 students from more than 18 countries around the world, sharing more than 100 educational posts, videos, and opportunities. She has been invited to participate in international conferences such as Quantum Latino, participated as a speaker at IBM, at The Woman Economic Forum and with her team, they have organized free seminars with nine international speakers to democratize access to quantum computing.