Skip to main content

Nike Dattani

October 22, 2023

Dr. Nike Dattani was born in Scarborough, Ontario to refugee parents from Uganda. His PhD was completed at Oxford University (in England) where he wrote the first software to calculate Feynman integrals numerically on GPU hardware. He was awarded the prestigious Hetherington Prize for the best doctoral thesis presentation in his year.

While developing the MLR potential energy model with Bob LeRoy at the University of Waterloo, he invented what later became called the “Dattani corrections”. Also while at UW, he worked with Ray Laflamme on the three-slit experiment, which was the first experimental test of Born’s rule in quantum mechanics. He then worked on numerous scientific projects in computational genetics at University of Western Ontario, including one which established the techniques used many years later to discover in early 2020 that the virus causing COVID-19 was closely related to coronaviruses in bats. Other experience of his includes holding a Banting Fellowship at McMaster University, working as a Research Officer at NRC, university-level teaching as a faculty member at University of Waterloo, and instrumental work in the early stages of HPQC Labs and HPQC College.

Outside of Canada, he set the record for “largest number factored on a quantum device” while working at Kyoto University in Japan, he founded the Gravity in Spectroscopy project while working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, contributed to ending a debate about the importance of quantum coherence in photosynthesis while working at NTU in Singapore, and contributed to quantum chemistry software (most notably NECI and OpenMOLCAS) during numerous visits to the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Germany. Dr. Dattani started the Matter Modeling Stack Exchange in 2020. With 4000+ members, it is the largest community in the field of physical and chemical modeling of matter.