Distinguished Lecture: Scott Aaronson (University of Texas at Austin), "Theoretical Foundations of Quantum Supremacy Experiments"

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
1001 Engineering Science Building (ESB)
Theoretical Foundations of Quantum Supremacy Experiments
Scott Aaronson (University of Texas at Austin)
Wim Van Dam


In the near future, there will likely be special-purpose quantum computers with 50 or so high-quality qubits. In this talk, I'll discuss general theoretical foundations for how to use such devices to demonstrate "quantum supremacy;" that is, a clear quantum speedup for *some* task, motivated by the goal of overturning the Extended Church-Turing Thesis (which says that all physical systems can be efficiently simulated by classical computers) as confidently as possible.

Based on recent joint work with Lijie Chen, https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.05903, and earlier joint work with Alex Arkhipov, http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.3245.


Scott Aaronson is the David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin.  He received his bachelor's from Cornell University and his PhD from UC Berkeley, and did postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study as well as the University of Waterloo.  Before coming to UT Austin, he spent nine years as a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.  Aaronson's research in theoretical computer science has focused mainly on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers.  His first book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press.  He’s received the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, the United States PECASE Award, the Vannevar Bush Fellowship, and MIT's Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Everyone welcome!