Sam Brandsen is currently a postdoctoral associate at Duke University with research interests in the intersection of machine learning and quantum information theory. Sam is autistic himself and he is also the parent of a wonderful autistic child.
When Sam is not doing quantum research or spending time with his child, he is probably working on neurodiversity-related initiatives. His special interest is working to develop more neurodiversity-affirming healthcare systems and educational practices. He currently co-facilitates a peer discussion group for neurodivergent individuals; has developed resources and playgroups for families with autistic or neurodivergent children; and has also co-led several presentations on autism and neurodiversity for medical professionals, mental health clinicians, and academic staff respectively. He is constantly grateful to Neurodiversity Connections at Duke for the opportunity to first become involved in autism-related advocacy. Sam’s hope is that we can develop a world where everyone’s unique perspective and way of communicating is valued and respected, and where all kinds of diversity are celebrated.