The Quantum Pontiff

John Preskill writes to me about workshop being quickly organized in response to the release of a report by US National Science and Technology Council calling for a national initiative in quantum information science. I saw this report a while back and have some half written blog posts about it that I need to finish off. Anyway the workshop website is http://www.eas.caltech.edu/qis2009/index.html. Everyone in the quantum information science is invited to attend and the registration and deadlines are, like, almost now!

Here is the blurb from the website:

In January 2009, the United States National Science and Technology Council issued a report on A Federal Vision for Quantum Information Science. The report proposes that:
The United States … create a scientific foundation for controlling, manipulating, and exploiting the behavior of quantum matter, and for identifying the physical, mathematical, and computational capabilities and limitations of quantum information processing systems in order to build a knowledge base for this 21st century technology.

This Workshop on Quantum Information Science (QIS) has been organized in response to the NSTC report. It brings together leading theorists and experimenters drawn from physical science, computer science, mathematics, and engineering who will assess recent progress in QIS and identify major goals and challenges for future research.

The workshop will include open evening sessions so that all participants can express their views concerning the priorities for a national QIS initiative. The workshop will be followed by a report that will be submitted to the federal agencies that sponsor or perform QIS research.

Note: Deadline for workshop rate at the Marriott is Wednesday, April 8, 5:00pm EST.

Comments

  1. #1 Jonathan Vos Post
    April 6, 2009

    In my email archive is the Word file of the paper that I presented on the History and Future of Quantum Computing, to the American Society for Engineering Education.

    So to whom at QIS should I submit this, offering to update it for the 8 April (2 days from now) deadline?

  2. #2 Ian Durham
    April 6, 2009

    I wish someone in GQI had known about this ahead of time. We could have – and should have – advertised heavily in The Quantum Times.

    Regardless, though we generally shy away from mass-mailings, perhaps Ivan can make an exception and send something out.

  3. #3 David
    April 6, 2009

    Vienna … is … so … close. Badly timed, though.

  4. #4 Geordie
    April 6, 2009

    Cool! Now the US will know how to use quantum computers built in other countries.

  5. #5 John Sidles
    April 6, 2009

    To see how this conference could do lasting harm to QIS, just read the Wikipedia article on “AI Winter”.

    E.g., it would be reasonable to focus QIS investment upon (1) building quantum computers and (2) proving stronger theorems. Just as it was reasonable for the AI community of the 1960s to focus upon symbolic logic and rule-based AI. Yet this seemingly reasonale focus was (in retrospect) disaster for a whole generation of AI researchers.

    Is there any danger of a “QIS Winter?” Some people—younger QIS researchers especially—would argue that we have already entered into one!

    That’s why it is concerning that the list of invited speakers seems weighted toward “old school QIS” … it is possible (even likely, IMHO) that in the coming decades QIS will develop along lines rather different than these traditionalist researchers are on-record as foreseeing.

  6. #6 Ian Durham
    April 6, 2009

    > That’s why it is concerning that the list of invited
    > speakers seems weighted toward “old school QIS”

    Maybe, but there are some fresher faces in there. For instance, I’m quite pleased to see Alán Aspuru-Guzik on the list.

  7. #7 Ian Durham
    April 6, 2009

    On a second glance at the speakers list, I will say that it is heavily weighted toward a handful of institutions and I don’t think appropriately captures the broader QIS community. For example the largest representation comes from IQC/Waterloo (5 speakers) while there is zero representation from New Mexico (either UNM or LANL).

  8. #8 anon
    April 6, 2009

    > Is there any danger of a “QIS Winter?” Some people—younger QIS researchers especially—would argue that we have already entered into one!

    Well, the job market in QIS is absolutely terrible, so I, for one, left the field.

  9. #9 John Sidles
    April 6, 2009

    Ian Durham says: I’m quite pleased to see Alán Aspuru-Guzik on the list/

    Me too, Ian … his collaboration’s recent work on Kohn-Sham formalisms for open quantum systems (arXiv:0902.4505) is very interesting indeed.

  10. #10 Dave Bacon
    April 7, 2009

    Cool! Now the US will know how to use quantum computers built in other countries. A couple more rounds of funding will take care of that problem :)

  11. #11 Geordie
    April 7, 2009

    Damn… you are right.

    Seriously though Dave I thought your “national policy” paper & ideas were a much more rational approach. This field needs action not more discussion. The ideas are there. What’s needed is leadership and willpower to convert the science into practice.

  12. #12 oyun
    April 7, 2009

    Maybe, but there are some fresher faces in there. For instance, I’m quite pleased to see Alán Aspuru-Guzik on the list.

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