Mines student honored with Goldwater Scholarship
Paul Varosy, a junior majoring in engineering physics at Colorado School of Mines, has been awarded a 2022-23 Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious STEM scholarships for undergraduate students.
Varosy is one of 417 students across the United States – and one of six in Colorado – to be named Goldwater Scholars. More than 1,200 students were nominated by their institutions for the program, which provides financial support of up to $7,500 per year for two years toward tuition and fees for students who intend to pursue postgraduate research careers in the STEM fields.
"This recognition allows me to continue pursuing research and acts as a launching point for future collaboration within the field of quantum computing," Varosy said.
Specifically, Varosy’s undergraduate research has focused on quantum computing: a technology which could transform the world due to the possible applications in drug discovery, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and materials science. He hopes to one day lead research in the field of quantum algorithms and teach at a high-activity research university.
“I first heard about quantum computers in the context of breaking encryption and realized Mines was blossoming into a hub for this field,” he said. “I started performing undergraduate research with Associate Professor Eliot Kapit, quickly realizing how fascinating the entire field of quantum computing was. I have so far explored noisy algorithms, quantum benchmarking and superconducting quantum devices, and I aim to never stop learning.”
While at Mines, Varosy has engaged in several opportunities to explore quantum computing and related topics. His research career began with the First-Year Innovation and Research Scholarship Training (FIRST) fellowship, a program that offers highly motivated first-year Mines students the opportunity to participate in original research with a focus on innovation. Varosy also participated in the 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium, presenting his project, “Using Error Divisible Gates for AFM Heisenberg Model with VQE.”
In addition to mentorship through the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, a group of stakeholders that aims to enable and grow the U.S. quantum industry, Varosy said the Mines Physics Department, and especially Kapit’s research group, has been one of his biggest influences during his years at Mines.
“I want to thank the tremendous academic and personal support of the Physics faculty and my peers in the department who actively shape it into one of the best physics departments in the U.S.,” Varosy said.
Established in 1986, the Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency. The scholarship program honors Sen. Barry Goldwater and was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. Goldwater Scholars have impressive academic and research credentials that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Goldwater Scholars have gone on to win an impressive array of prestigious post-graduate fellowships, among which are the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship, Hertz Fellowship, DOE Computation Science Graduate Fellowship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.