Emma Hansen (she/her)

I completed my Master's of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington, where my studies focused on control theory and optimisation. 

I have four years of experience in the Mathematics PhD program at the University of British Columbia (UBC), which I had to leave due to unforeseen circumstances. My research at UBC focussed on applying convex optimisation techniques to problems in quantum key distribution key rate calculations. 

Outside of academics I am an avid climber, and enjoy hiking, running, and being outdoors. I coach climbing with the youth High Performance Team at the Richmond Olympic Oval. 


Previously, my research focussed on optimisation of spectral functionals, these are functions which act on the eigenvalues of a matrix. Many of the methods used to analyse vector problems extend nicely to the matrix case for commuting matrices, but restricting to commuting matrices is not that practical. Extending existing methods to work in the non-commuting matrix case is one of my interests. This work was approached through the lens of studying key rate calculations for quantum key distribution protocols. This is a convex optimisation problem, over the density matrix of a quantum system, and is important in the development of new key distribution protocols. 

For a collection of course projects I've done over the years, and a list of publications, see the links at the top! 

Non-Academic Research Experience

University of Washington Mechanical Engineering

Role: Research Scientist

Supervisor: Co-advised with Steve Brunton (UW) and Zhuoyuan Song (UH)

Website: https://www.eigensteve.com/

March 2020-August 2020

Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs

Role: Intern - Motion Planning and Experiment

Host: Yebin Wang

Website: http://www.merl.com/

June 2019-August 2019


PhD (attempt 1) - Mathematics, Institute of Applied Mathematics

University of British Columbia 


MS - Aeronautics and Astronautics

University of Washington

Completed 2019

BASc - Mathematics and Engineering - Applied Mechanics Option

Queen's University

Completed 2017


My parents make chocolate. Check them out! https://www.desbarreschocolate.com/ 

Contact Information