Past Event

Quantum Computation
A Glimpse Into the Future of Computing

Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Location: Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, Stanford University

Archived Presentations

Richard Gordon, T-Zero Engineering
Colin P. Williams, California Institute of Technology
Geordie Rose, D-Wave Systems, Inc.
Jaw-Shen Tsai, NEC Fundamental Research Laboratories
Umesh Vazirani, University of California, Berkeley
Tad Hogg, Hewlett-Packard Labs

The last 15 years has witnessed an eruption of discovery in the domains of quantum information and quantum computation; fields that study how quantum mechanical systems can be harnessed for information processing tasks. The ultimate prize in this quest is the ability to model quantum-mechanical processes both accurately and efficiently. Many other jewels of discovery are certain to dot the road towards that goal.

Why is quantum modeling important? Just as today's nearly $200B semiconductor market relies on accurate device-level modeling for complex integrated circuit design and manufacture, the burgeoning nanotechnology market will ultimately need precision modeling of large quantum mechanical systems to create future nano-scale products. However, as Nobelist Richard Feynman observed in the 1980s, a seemingly insurmountable roadblock exists: simulating quantum-mechanical processes on a conventional digital computer is intractable, requiring super-polynomial memory and time.

Could the quantum computer be the answer? Proving that fact is far stranger than fiction, these mind-bending machines use the weird properties of quantum parallelism to solve certain intractable, NP problems in polynomial time. Other algorithms enjoy quadratic speedups.

We have assembled a distinguished panel of pioneering experts from industry and academia to review the state-of-the-art of quantum computation and how it relates to nanotechnology. Dr. Colin Williams will lead our session with an introduction to the fundamental concepts and practicalities of quantum computation. Other topics of discussion will include: What hardware approaches to quantum computation are being pursued by the panelists' organizations? How do they work? What other hardware approaches appear promising? What barriers to implementation exist? What applications and algorithms will potentially benefit from quantum computation? How will quantum modeling be done? What is the development timeline for the quantum computer?

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating look into the future of computing.


Richard Gordon, T-Zero Engineering.


Dr. Colin Williams, Senior Research Scientist and Program Manager for the Advanced Computing Paradigms, in the Information Technology Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Geordie Rose, CEO, D-Wave Systems, Inc.

Dr. Jaw-Shen Tsai is a Research Fellow at NEC Fundamental Research Laboratories, where he leads their quantum computing research, and is also an American Physical Society Fellow.

Dr. Umesh Vazirani, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Tad Hogg, Member of the Information Dynamics Group, Hewlett-Packard Labs.


5:30 - 6:30 Hors d'oeuvres & Networking
6:30 - 6:40 Opening Remarks and Panel Introduction
6:40 - 7:00 A Brief Tutorial on Quantum Computing
7:00 - 8:30 Individual presentations
8:30 - 9:15 Q&A and Panel Discussion with All Panelists

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Copyright 2003, 2004 MIT · Stanford · UC Berkeley Nanotechnology Forum