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pics I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, Feb 18, 2020 that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there Feb 24, 2020

Hi there, Human 👋🏼

I am Dr. Mia von Steinkirch, a theoretical physicist, a computer scientist, and an entrepreneur. 

I work on quantum computing, machine learning, and cloud infrastructure & orchestration. 

Previously, I was a senior software engineer at Apple, Yelp, Etsy, and Surfline; and a 
researcher at NASA Goddard Space, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 
and Quantum Gravity Research Institute.

Below is my detailed bio.

Life as a Curious Kid in South America

In the Beginning... Was the Command Line

I started playing with computer terminals when I was around five or six, in my Uncle's 386. Science, Hacking, and the Mysteries of the Universe have been a favorite subject of mine since then.

Getting into the biz

In 6th grade, I started my first company, selling magic blood. It wasn't real blood, but a chemical reaction, which I just learned about (see what happens when you mix Ammonia and Phenolphthalein). I sold several bottles in my school (until I got caught by the nums: I was in catholic school!).

My second company, in 7th grade, was a magazine subscription about a certain famous actor (I can't tell who, it's embarrassing). This was back when the internet wasn't really a thing, and subscribers would monthly mail me money to see the stories.

A lil h4x0r bb

I started being very interested in coding & how computers work by that time, so I wrote my first website,

It was made in Macromedia Flash, and it's funny how some of my interests are still the same, such as AI and expert systems. Well, but not MP3 :).

Life as a Physicist, from Sao Paulo to New York

Look, Ma, I am a Doctor

I went for my Ph.D. & M.Sc. degrees in Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University, New York, and for a B.Sc. in Engineering & Physics at the University of Sao Paulo.

During college, I was an undergraduate researcher at the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological, where I studied Cosmology (more specifically, the equations of dark matter and dark energy), under the supervision of Prof. Elcio Abdalla.

I worked at NASA and I didn't make bombs in Los Alamos

In the last year of college, I had the chance to spend a summer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, as an undergraduate researcher, where I studied the Physics of Active Galactic Nuclei, with Prof. Steve Kraemer.

As a Ph.D. student, I had a scholarship as a graduate researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science, where I developed Monte Carlo simulations and data analysis to find the Physics of Neutron Stars, with Prof. Christopher Lee Fryer, Prof. Alan Calder, and Prof. James M. Lattimer.

I also had a chance to work for a year at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where I researched the Physics of Quark-Gluon Plasmas in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), with Prof. Barbara Jacak.

During that time, I had the honor of being awarded scholarships to attend events such as American Astronomical Society, HPC Xsede Summer School '13, CERN Winter School '09, and the well-regarded NYC programmer retreat Recurse Center'14 (formerly Hacker School).

Long nights at my student office

I open-sourced a book on Group Theory, which seems to be popular among graduate students at CALTECH (at least, that's what Prof. Maria Spiropulu told me).

I have some scientific articles published in Nuclear, Astrophysics, and Cosmology. I have some whitepapers, tutorials, and open-source projects on Quantum Computing, Quantum Topological Field Theory, Machine Learning, among others. You can check them out on my graduate website.

Life as a Software Engineer in California

Hack the planet

I returned to computer science due to the influence of the hacking community. I presented a talk on hacking quantum cryptography at DEF CON's cryptovillage once.

When I was still in my Ph.D., I played several CTF competitions. I played for Joel Eriksson's team, HackingForSoju (23th in 2014), and with a Polish team named Snatch The Root (29th in 2014).

Flyin hi with Python

At that time, I open-sourced a book on Python and Algorithms. In 2015, Hanbit Media, Inc. gave me money so that they would have it translated to Korean 🤷🏻‍♀️. I maintain a repository for penetration testing that has 1k+ stars. I open-sourced a tool to make GCP security easier.


My first job outside the academy was as a security software engineer at Yelp. There I created an in-house machine learning software for DNS/Web endpoint data analysis. I also worked on several infrastructure and security tasks.


I was a senior software engineer at the Core OS (security) team at Apple for a year, under Ivan Krstić's supervision, where I developed software to help with Apple's internal security and incident response, I researched iOS Security hardening, and I helped writing Apple's Deep Learning toolkit for richer data augmentation for image recognition.


I was a senior infrastructure software engineer at Etsy for a year and a half, at Will Rogers's and Ben Hughes's team. There, I developed an incident response infrastructure for Etsy's fleet, with OSQuery. I wrote a security suite for GCP, that identifies and alerts on security flaws and misconfigurations.

Startups & Beyond

I spent a summer hanging out with the folks from Surfline, where I helped build an end-to-end pipeline & software for surfers to retrieve clips of the waves they caught (from over 500+ cameras worldwide), and I learned how they maintain a worldwide camera infrastructure.

I spent a winter helping out the folks at the Quantum Gravity Research Institute, working together with Klee Irwin and his team to simulate a quantum gravitational theory on quasicrystals. I also taught Agile and DevOps practices for a team of 10+ scientists.

I spent some time helping out at Sara Hicks's awesome startup, Reaction Commerce, helping to develop full-stack & infrastructure e-commerce solutions.

Life is This Very Moment

These are my lifelong interests:

Quantum Computing & Utopia


Cloud Infrastructure & Orchestration

Nihilism & Entrepreneurism

Extreme Sports & Nomadic Life

The Meaning of Life & The Death of the Self

  • My favorite motto is Impossible is a state of mind. From extreme sports, I like to think about this: Once we control our emotional response to events, time will move much slower.
  • Here are some quotes and artistic elements that I regard.
  • Want to chat with me? Grab some time in my calendar or send me a message through Keybase. Topics of interest are everything you read in this gist + ideas to take over the World (disclaimer: I might take a week or more to get back to you, but I respond every message I get 🖤).
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