The Simons Institute is currently holding our first indoor research activity since the closure of the university due to the coronavirus in March 2020. The Summer Cluster in Quantum Computation is taking place at the Simons Institute from June 28 through August 6, 2021. Led by Simons Institute Research Director for Quantum Computing Umesh Vazirani, the cluster includes 30 to 40 junior and senior researchers, many of whom are in residence at Berkeley for the duration.
We are poised at a singular moment in the development of quantum computing, with small- to medium-scale quantum computers poised to become a reality. This has thrown up new algorithmic challenges from benchmarking and testing of quantum computers, to concretely understanding what kinds of algorithmic tasks these quantum computers will be useful for. The theory of interactive quantum device testing has already led to deep new connections with cryptography and computational complexity theory, and the resolution of some long-standing open questions in mathematics. Among the algorithmic tasks being intensely studied are simulation of quantum systems, quantum chemistry, and quantum machine learning. And critical to the scaling of quantum computers will be advances in quantum error correction and fault tolerance protocols. At the same time, ideas from quantum computation are playing a critical role in understanding foundational open issues in physics, such as a theory of quantum gravity. The 2021 Quantum Computation cluster brings together researchers from computer science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics to advance the science in these areas.
“The Institute has been working hard to resume in-person activity since it closed its doors in March 2020, and we are all looking forward to the kind of intense, in-person interactions that the Simons Institute is famous for,” says Vazirani. “And at the same time, we know that not all of our colleagues can join us, and our thoughts are with them and the many others in countries where coronavirus rates are still rising.”
This cluster is an activity of the Simons Institute's Research Pod in Quantum Computing, and is funded by the Department of Energy (via the Quantum Systems Accelerator) and the National Science Foundation (via a Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes award).