Quantum Computing Speaker Abstracts and Biographies

Quantum Computing Speaker Abstracts and Biographies

NASA Workshop on Quantum Computing for Aeroscience and Engineering

Click a name below for more information.

 Barth | BushnellChow | JohnsonKais | Keyes | Levy | Martinis | Monroe | Rieffel | Roetteler | SchoelkopfSimmons | Somma | Yepez


Timothy Barth, NASA Ames


Title: QSPIN: A High Level Java API for Quantum Computing Experimentation

Abstract: QSPIN is a high level Java language API for experimentation in QC models used in the calculation of Ising spin glass ground states and related quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) problems. The Java API is intended to facilitate research in advanced QC algorithms such as hybrid quantum-classical solvers, automatic selection of constraint and optimization parameters, and techniques for the correction and mitigation of model and solution errors. QSPIN includes high level solver objects tailored to the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture that implement hybrid quantum-classical algorithms [Booth et al.] for solving large problems on small quantum devices, elimination of variables via roof duality, and classical computing optimization methods such as GPU accelerated simulated annealing and tabu search for comparison. A test suite of documented NP-complete applications ranging from graph coloring, covering, and partitioning to integer programming and scheduling are provided to demonstrate current capabilities.

Biography: Timothy Barth is a computational scientist in the NASA Ames Supercomputer Division working under the ARMD Transformative Tools and Technology (T^3) project. His current work includes the development of uncertainty and error propagation methods for high-dimensional stochastic and random
variable problems and the development of applications technology for the D-Wave Quantum Annealing Device as well as future quantum computer hardware. Timothy is a member of the editorial board for the Springer book series Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering (LNCSE) and Textbooks in Computation Science and Engineering (TCSE).

Dennis Bushnell, NASA Langley  Title: Quantum Computing and NASA

Abstract: Presentation considers the potential implications and enablements of quantum computing for NASA, including a greatly accelerated shift to modsim across the board with a consequent decline in the need for wind tunnels, other experimental testing.  Also, quantum computers should be able to provide ab initio ideation, creative inventions via very rapid evaluation of combinatorials, superb multidisciplinary design optimization, massive impacts upon climate projections, a new one trillion dollar aero market and a HAL 9000 for humans to Mars.

Biography:  Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center, member, national academy of engineering, honorary  fellow AIAA, fellow of ASME and Royal Aeronautical Society, 260 publications, 400 invited lectures, in areas of fluid mechanics, propulsion, systems and revolutionary architectures and configurations, for sea, air and space.

Jerry Chow, IBM Title: Getting Quantum Ready with Near Term Quantum Processors

Abstract: Quantum computing is a new computational paradigm that is expected to lie beyond the standard model of computation. This implies a quantum computer can solve problems that cannot be solved by a conventional computer with tractable overhead. To fully harness this power we need a universal fault-tolerant quantum computer. However, the overhead in building such a machine is high and a full solution appears to still be many years away. Nevertheless, we believe that we can build machines in the near term that cannot be emulated by a conventional computer. It is then interesting to ask what these can be used for. In this talk we will present IBM’s advances in simulating complex quantum systems with real experimental noisy quantum computers. We will also discuss programming quantum computers over the cloud, and specifically building up a quantum ecosystem via the IBM Q Experience.

Biography: Dr. Jerry M. Chow is the Manager of the Experimental Quantum Computing group at IBM and a Distinguished Research Staff Member. He joined IBM Research in 2010. In 2012 he was recognized in the Forbes 30 under 30 Technology list. Jerry is the Primary Investigator for the IBM team on the IARPA Logical Qubits program since 2015. In 2016 he co-lead the IBM Quantum Experience project, placing a real quantum processor accessible to anyone over the Cloud.

Blake Johnson, Rigetti Corp. Title: Parametrically-enabled entangling gates on a multi-qubit lattice

Abstract: An important requirement for scalable quantum computers based on superconducting qubits is the availability of fast entangling gates that maintain good fidelities in a high-connectivity lattice. We discuss a family of such gate operations that are activated by radio-frequency flux pulses applied to tunable transmon qubits. By parametrically modulating the frequency of the transmon, we actuate resonant exchange of excitations with a statically coupled, but otherwise off-resonant, neighboring transmon. The operation is highly selective and does not require mediator qubits or resonator modes, and is therefore ideal for scalable, high-connectivity lattices. In this talk I will discuss the implementation of this gate scheme on an 8-qubit chip.

Biography: Blake Johnson is the technical lead of Rigetti’s quantum engineering team working to scale-up superconducting qubit systems. He previously worked at Raytheon BBN Technologies for 7 years, and earned a Ph.D in physics under Rob Schoelkopf at Yale. His work includes: the first experimental demonstration of 100x quantum advantage on a machine learning problem, custom hardware to enable dynamic quantum computing, and several novel tomographic methods.

Sabre Kais, Purdue University Title: “Near term applications of small scale quantum computing for quantum chemistry”

Abstract: The exact solution of the Schrödinger equation for atoms, molecules and extended systems continues to be a “Holy Grail” problem for the field of atomic and molecular physics since inception. Recently, breakthroughs have   been made in the development of hardware-efficient quantum optimizers and coherent Ising machines capable of simulating hundreds of interacting spins through an Ising-type Hamiltonian. One of the most vital questions associated with these new devices is: “Can these machines be used to perform electronic structure calculations?” In this talk I will discuss the possibility of mapping between the electronic structure Hamiltonian and the Ising Hamiltonian and present the simulation results of the transformed Ising Hamiltonian for small molecules such as H2, He2, HeH+,  LiH and H2O. Future directions for scaling up the simulations to larger systems will  be also discussed.

Biography: His research focuses on developing new methods for electronic structure and dynamics of atoms and molecules and quantum information and computation for chemistry.  He is a former director of the NSF Center for Chemical Innovation, “Quantum Information for Quantum Chemistry” ,  (2010-2013)  and in 2014 edited  volume 154  of Advances in Chemical Physics on “Quantum Information and Computation for Chemistry. He has a courtesy professorship appointments in Physics and Computer Science at Purdue, external research professor at Santa Fe Institute, a former director of QEERI theory group (2013-2017),   an elected Fellow of APS, AAAS,  Guggenheim and  received Sigma Xi Research Award in 2012.

David Keyes, KAUST Title: “A Baseline for Quantum Competitiveness”

Abstract: To project the niches in which quantum computing achieves competitiveness, we need to project forward the capabilities of classical computing – a task that has historically surprised experts in both hardware and algorithms.  Even specifying a suitable metric for comparison is nontrivial, and this talk succeeds at neither.  Its charge is simply to bring the two magisteria into conversation in a workshop that majors in the advances of quantum computing by providing baseline and wishlist for a basket of computations of importance to NASA and similar agencies, from the perspective of such initiatives as DOE’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing and the G-8’s International Exascale Software Project.

Biography: David Keyes is the director of the Extreme Computing Research Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where he was a founding dean in 2009, and an adjunct professor of applied mathematics at Columbia University. Keyes earned his BSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Princeton and his PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. He works at the algorithmic interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations.  He is a Fellow of SIAM and AMS and a recipient of the ACM Gordon Bell Prize, the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award, and the SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession.

Jeremy Levy, Pittsburgh Quantum Institute Title: Simulating Quantum Computers with Correlated Nanoelectronics

Abstract:  Increasing control over quantum mechanical phenomena promises to herald a “second quantum revolution” that will provide new computational resources as well as yield insight into the quantum nature of matter. Despite many impressive early demonstrations, no single physical platform has yet been established. The development of new growth techniques for complex oxides have enabled new families of heterostructures which can be electrostatically gated between insulating, ferromagnetic, conducting and superconducting phases. We are investigating how these phases can be controlled in ways that might be suitable for future quantum technologies. Specifically, we use a conductive AFM probe to “write” and “erase” conducting nanostructures at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface, and probe the resulting electronic phases at millikelvin temperatures. The design process is similar to that of an Etch-a-Sketch toy, but with a resolution of two nanometers, comparable to the spacing between electrons. We are using this precision to “simulate” novel forms of quantum matter with properties that differ significantly from the underlying material. Theoretical frameworks for understanding high-temperature superconductivity (i.e., Hubbard model) might be tested on this hardware platform; alternatively, quantum materials with new and emergent properties could potentially be designed and utilized in a quantum computer (i.e., spin qubit or non-abelian anyon).

Biography: Dr. Jeremy Levy is a Distinguished Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Physics and Astronomy (, and Founding Director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute ( He received an A.B. degree in physics from Harvard University in 1988, and a Ph.D. degree in physics from UC Santa Barbara in 1993. After a postdoctoral position at UC Santa Barbara, he joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. His research interests center around the emerging field of oxide nanoelectronics, experimental and theoretical realizations for quantum computation, semiconductor and oxide spintronics, quantum transport and nanoscale optics, and dynamical phenomena in oxide materials and films. He is a Class of 2015 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a recipient of the 2008 Nano50 Innovator Award, and the NSF Career Award. He has received the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Distinguished awards for research (2004, 2011) and teaching (2007).

 John Martinis, Google Title: Quantum hardware at Google: progress towards exponentially growing computational complexity

Abstract: The quantum-hardware group at Google is building superconducting qubit devices for quantum annealing, quantum simulation and gate-model quantum computing.  A large effort this year is focused on demonstrating quantum supremacy on a 49 qubit device.  Here the output of a quantum computer can only be checked with a large classical supercomputer, which is limited by the memory storage of the 2^49 state space.  I will show experimental data towards this demonstration from a 9 qubit adjustable-coupler “gmon” device, which implements the basic sampling algorithm of supremacy for a computational (Hilbert) space of about 500.  Fidelities in the 90% range indicate that huge Hilbert space computations should be possible with 20-49 qubit devices, which are presently being designed, built and tested.  We have also gone beyond checking whether our quantum computer is operating properly: a quantum-materials simulation shows that complex energy spectra can be accurately predicted on our quantum computer.  

Biography: John Martinis pioneered research on superconducting quantum-bits as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley.  He has worked at CEA France, NIST Boulder, and UC Santa Barbara.  In 2014 he was awarded the London Prize for low-temperature physics research on superconducting qubits.  In 2014 he joined the Google quantum-AI team, and now heads an effort to build a useful quantum computer.

Chris Monroe, University of Maryland and IonQ Title: Reconfigurable Quantum Computing with Trapped Ions

Abstract:  Trapped atomic ions are standards for quantum information science, acting as qubits that have unsurpassed levels of quantum coherence, can be replicated and scaled with atomic clock accuracy, and allow near-perfect measurement.  Controllable interactions are mediated by modulating the Coulomb repulsion between ions with control laser beams, allowing the qubit connectivity graph to be reconfigured and optimally adapted to a given algorithm or mode of computing.  Gate fidelities (including measurement) between pairs of qubits in excess of 99.9%, universal and fully-connected control of up to 7 qubits, and quantum simulations with >50 qubits have all been demonstrated in trapped ion systems, and I will speculate on combining all of this into a single universal quantum computing architecture that can be scaled indefinitely with photonic networks.

Biography: Christopher Monroe is a leading atomic physicist and quantum information scientist.  He demonstrated the first quantum gate in any platform at NIST in the 1990s, and at U. Michigan and U. Maryland he discovered new ways to scale trapped ion qubits and simplify their control with semiconductor chip traps, simplified lasers, and photonic interfaces for long-distance entanglement.  He is Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at IonQ in College Park, MD.

Eleanor Rieffel, NASA Ames  Title: A NASA perspective on quantum computing: Opportunities and challenges

Abstract: In the last couple of decades, the world has seen several stunning instances of quantum algorithms that provably outperform the best classical algorithms. For most problems, however, it is currently unknown whether quantum algorithms can provide an advantage, and if so by how much, or how to design quantum algorithms that realize such advantages. Many of the most challenging computational problems arising in the practical world are tackled today by heuristic algorithms that have not been mathematically proven to outperform other approaches but have been shown to be effective empirically. While quantum heuristic algorithms have been proposed, empirical testing becomes possible only as quantum computation hardware is built. The next few years will be exciting as empirical testing of quantum heuristic algorithms becomes more and more feasible. While large-scale universal quantum computers are likely decades away, special-purpose quantum computational hardware has begun to emerge, which will become more powerful over time, as well as small-scale universal quantum computers.

In this talk, I will give an overview of the NASA QuAIL team’s ongoing quantum annealing investigations, with a focus on planning and scheduling, fault diagonosis, and machine learning, as well as its more recent work on gate-model quantum-heuristic algorithms. The talk will conclude with a discussion of research challenges, particularly in optimization and sampling, and of the potential of quantum computing for computational challenges arising in future agency missions.

Biography: Eleanor G. Rieffel leads the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the NASA Ames Research Center. She joined NASA Ames Research Center in 2012 to work on their expanding quantum computing effort, after working at FXPAL where she performed research in diverse fields including quantum computation, applied cryptography, image-based geometric reconstruction of 3D scenes, bioinformatics, video surveillance, and automated control code generation for modular robotics. Her research interests include quantum heuristics, evaluation and utilization of near-term quantum hardware, fundamental resources for quantum computation, quantum error suppression, and applications for quantum computing. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is best known for her 2011 book Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction with coauthor Wolfgang Polak and published by MIT press.

Martin Roetteler, Microsoft Title: Quantum resource estimates and libraries for computing elliptic curve dlogs

Abstract: We give precise quantum resource estimates for Shor’s algorithm to compute discrete logarithms on elliptic curves over prime fields. The estimates are derived from a simulation of a Toffoli gate network for controlled elliptic curve point addition, implemented in Microsoft’s quantum computing software toolsuite LIQUi|>. We determine circuit implementations for reversible modular arithmetic, including modular addition, multiplication and inversion, as well as reversible elliptic curve point addition. This allows to classically simulate the Toffoli networks corresponding to the controlled elliptic curve point addition as the core piece of Shor’s algorithm for the NIST standard curves P-192, P-224, P-256, P-384 and P-521. The results confirm estimates given earlier by Proos and Zalka and indicate that, for current parameters at comparable classical security levels, the number of qubits required to tackle elliptic curves is less than for attacking RSA, suggesting that indeed elliptic curve cryptography is an easier target than RSA. Based on joint work with Michael Naehrig, Krysta Svore, and Kristin Lauter. See also

Biography: Martin Roetteler received a Ph.D. in computer science from University of Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2001. From 2003-2004 he held a post-doc position at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Canada. From 2005 on, he was a Research Staff Member at NEC Laboratories America, Princeton, NJ, where from 2007-2013 he was the leader of NEC’s Quantum IT group.  In 2013, Martin joined Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA. He is a Principal Researcher and member of the Quantum Architectures and Computation Group (QuArC). In the past, Martin worked on projects funded by ARO, NSA, the European Union, the German DFG, and was main PI of the IARPA QCS project TORQUE.

Robert Schoelkopf, Yale University Title: The Prospects for Robust, Modular Quantum Computing with Superconducting Circuits

Abstract: Quantum computation is a completely new and different paradigm for how to store and process information. It offers the possibility of exponential computational advantage for certain types of hard problems, but the hardware for implementing quantum algorithms is still at an early stage. Remarkably, in the last two decades there has been an accumulation of scientific progress that shows that superconducting qubits can perform well enough to actually enable the construction of large scale quantum information systems in the foreseeable future. This also means that one can begin to talk about choice of architectures and algorithms to implement on early quantum machines.

Biography: Robert Schoelkopf is the Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics at Yale University. A graduate of Princeton University, Schoelkopf earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology

His group is a leader in the development of solid-state quantum bits (qubits) for quantum computing, and the advancement of their performance to practical levels. The Yale team has produced many firsts in the field based on superconducting circuits, including the development of a “quantum bus” for information, and the first demonstrations of quantum algorithms and quantum error correction with integrated circuits.

This work has been recognized with several awards, including Joseph F. Keithley Award of the American Physical Society, the Max Planck Forschungspreis, and together with his colleague Michel Devoret, the John Stewart Bell Prize and the Fritz London Memorial Prize. He is a co-founder and the Chief Architect at Quantum Circuits, Inc.

Michelle Simmons, University of New South Wales Title: The Development of Donor Qubits in Silicon

Abstract: Funded by the Australian Research Council since 2000 with over $100m investment, UNSW Australia hosts the highly successful Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. Over the past 5 years the Centre has published >85 articles in Science and Nature and are acknowledged as a world-leader in silicon quantum computing. Capitalising on the investment to date, the Australian Government along with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra have become anchor investors to build a prototype 10 qubit system in silicon within the next 5 years.

Biography: Professor Simmons is the Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. She has pioneered unique technologies internationally to build electronic devices in silicon at the atomic scale. She has won both the Pawsey Medal (2006) and Lyle Medal (2015) from the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding research in physics and was, upon her appointment, one of the youngest fellows of this Academy. She was named Scientist of the Year by the New South Wales Government in 2012 and in 2014 became one of only a few Australians inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2015 she was awarded the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science and in 2016 the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for her work in ‘the new field of atomic-electronics, which she created’. Based on the demonstrated excellent qubit properties of silicon, in 2017 she established a unique public-private Australian company dedicated to realising a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit in silicon.

Rolando Somma, Los Alamos National Lab Title: Quantum Algorithms for Turbulent Mixing Simulation

Abstract: Probability density function (PDF) methods have been useful in describing many physical aspects of turbulent mixing. In applications of these methods, modeled PDF transport equations are commonly simulated via classical Monte Carlo techniques, which provide estimates of moments of the PDF at arbitrary accuracy. In this talk, I will describe recently developed techniques in quantum computing and quantum enhanced measurements (quantum metrology) and use them to construct a quantum algorithm that accelerates the computation of such estimates. I will show that the quantum algorithm provides a quadratic speedup over classical Monte Carlo methods in terms of the number of repetitions needed to achieve the desired precision. I will provide a simple illustration of the power of the algorithm by considering a binary scalar mixing process modeled by means of the coalescence/dispersion (C/D) closure.

Biography: Dr. Rolando Somma is a scientist working at the forefront of quantum information at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In 2005, Rolando received the LANL Director’s postdoctoral fellowship to conduct work on quantum metrology methods using ion traps, which earned him the 2006 LANL’s Postdoctoral Distinguished Performance award due to his high-profile results and publications. In 2007, Rolando received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada. During his time at PI, Rolando collaborated with world-class researchers in the area of quantum information and produced important results on the power of quantum computing models. Rolando has coauthored over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals that are highly cited, and has given over 50 invited seminars in top institutions and conferences. In 2009 Rolando returned to LANL, and was converted to staff in the Theoretical Division in late 2010. Since then, Rolando has been working extensively in the development of fast quantum methods for diverse problems and in security proofs of quantum cryptography with realistic devices. His pioneering work on quantum information has been reported in the media several times.

Jeffrey Yepez, University of Hawaii Title: Quantum computational methods for fluid dynamics

Abstract: An efficient quantum computational model of Navier-Stokes fluid dynamics can be used to emulate classical turbulence.  In this talk I will present the quantum lattice gas model of quantum computation that uses a tensor network constructed over an interconnected parallel array of qubits.  Such a qubit-based quantum system can emulate a Bose-Einstein condensate when it has quantum entanglement confined to local clusters.  Quantum fluids such as Bose-Einstein condensates naturally manifest energy cascades associated with classical fluid turbulence with an emergent inertial range and well defined viscous dissipation scale.  In this talk, I will describe a way to model classical turbulence on a quantum fluid-based quantum computer. Such a quantum computer should outperform upcoming exascale supercomputers for the same task in terms of both computational efficiency and reduced electrical power consumption.

Biography: Dr. Yepez leads the Quantum Computing Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He has been a Principal Investigator in quantum computing and quantum simulation since 1992 for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. His research includes efficient quantum algorithms for computational physics, experimental analog quantum emulation, quantum information theory, nonlinear physics, classical and quantum turbulence, gauge field theories and computational physics. He is currently investigating strongly-correlated Fermi systems, particularly quantum lattice gas models manifesting Bose-Einstein condensation, spinor superfluidity and superconductivity.  Dr. Yepez has served for most of his career as senior research physicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, a career in the Department of the Air Force that spanned over thirty years (1984-2016).   Dr. Yepez received a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics at the College of William and Mary, Master of Arts in Physics at Brandeis University, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Auburn University, and Bachelor of Arts in Physics at Rutgers University. Dr. Yepez is also a graduate of the United States Air Force Officer Training School and Squadron Officer School.





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