The Quantum Times

Newsletter of the APS Division of Quantum Information

2018 DQI Election – Candidate Statements

January 30, 2018 Elections 0

This year marks the first year in which we will be voting as a Division of the APS rather than as a Topical Group. As such, in addition to voting for elected positions we also must vote on changes to our by-laws. This post will include candidate statements. A separate post will include the proposed by-laws. Instructions for voting will be sent to members via e-mail. Since we are now a Division, you will notice that we have an additional position to elect, that of Councilor.

 

Councilor

 

Carlton Caves, University of New Mexico

Biography:

Carlton Caves is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico and Director of the UNM/UArizona Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC).   He received a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1979 and continued there as a Research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow till 1987. From 1988 till 1992 he was Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at the University of Southern California. He moved to UNM as Professor of Physics and Astronomy in 1992. A Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, his outside interests include birding, cycling, and spending time in Australia. He plans to retire from UNM in the summer of 2018, after which he will be transformed into a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and a Research Distinguished Professor and will no longer be Director of CQuIC.

Caves began his research career as relativity theorist, became a quantum optician to explore the noise in gravitational-wave detectors, and morphed to a quantum information scientist, interested in how quantum physics impacts information-processing tasks. He is the author of 120 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, on topics in gravitation, quantum optics, nonlinear dynamics, quantum information, and quantum metrology. His present research is concentrated on quantum metrology and quantum information theory. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the first Öcsi Bácsi Fellow at Caltech in 1976–77, won the Einstein Prize for Laser Science of the Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics in 1990, and was awarded the Max Born Award of the Optical Society of American in 2011. He has been a Divisional Associate Editor at Physical Review Letters since 2012, a responsibility that will end next September.

He served in the initial Chair line of the Topical Group on (now Division of) Quantum Information in 2006–08 and supervised the adoption of the Topical Group’s name and the writing of its mission statement and bylaws.

At this point in the ballot, if you have progressed to reading candidate statements, you probably know that I am running to be the DQI Councilor on the APS Council of Representatives. According to the APS Constitution and Bylaws, the Council “shall focus on all matters of science and membership, including science policy.” Among the ten specific responsibilities listed for the Council, I draw attention to three: establishment and oversight of the publications of the Society; approval of policy statements and science strategy of the Society; scientific meetings and conferences.

Candidate Statement:

The DQI Councilor has two complementary roles: to participate in the governance of the entire Society and in doing so, to represent the interests of the DQI within the governing bodies of the APS. The most important services that the Society provides to its members and to the worldwide physics community are its scientific meetings and its journals. Ensuring that these continue in their leading roles and, particularly, serve the interests of quantum information science would be my chief focus as Councilor.   APS meetings must maintain their vitality as a primary place for physicists to meet and exchange ideas and as an attractive venue for young physicists to be exposed to the range of activities in physics. Attention to the journals is especially important at a time when the avenues for and purposes of publication and the associated financial arrangements are all undergoing rapid change.

From a broader perspective, I am interested in promoting APS programs that seek to recruit the broadest possible constituency into physics. Physics plays a fundamental role in our understanding of the world; making a contribution to that understanding can be rewarding and fulfilling and can become the basis for a life well spent. Ensuring that the opportunity to be a physicist is available to anyone with interest and skills, without regard to the categories into which the rest of life divides us, fulfills the promise of our discipline as a place for all, is essential to the future vitality of our discipline, and, moreover, is right.

As DQI Councilor, I pledge to be in regular contact with the DQI Executive Committee—and with the membership when necessary—to determine how best to represent your interests within the APS. If you read the bio, you know that I will be free of teaching and administrative responsibilities by the end of next summer. My intention is to do more science myself, but I am also prepared to serve the community by helping to maintain and build the environment that enables and empowers others to do science. That’s why I volunteered to run.

 

Charles Bennett, IBM Research

Biography:

Charles H. Bennett was born in 1943, the son of music teachers. He received his BA from Brandeis University in chemistry in 1964, his PhD from Harvard in 1971 in chemical physics, and did a postdoc with Aneesur Rahman on molecular dynamics at Argonne Laboratory.

Since joining IBM’s Research Division in 1972, he has worked on various aspects of the relation between physics and information processing. In 1973, building on the work of IBM’s Rolf Landauer, he showed that general-purpose computations can be performed with arbitrarily little energy dissipation per step if the computing apparatus avoids throwing away information about its past logical states; and in 1982 he proposed the currently accepted resolution of the Maxwell’s demon paradox, attributing the demon’s inability to violate the Second Law to the thermodynamic cost of destroying, rather than acquiring, information.

In 1984 in collaboration with Gilles Brassard of the University of Montreal he devised a practical system of quantum cryptography, allowing secure communication between parties who share no secret information initially, and with the help of John Smolin built a working demonstration of it in 1989.

In 1993 Bennett and Brassard, in collaboration with Claude Crepeau, Richard Jozsa, Asher Peres, and William Wootters, discovered “quantum teleportation,” in which the complete information in a system is decomposed into a classical message and quantum entanglement, then reassembled from these ingredients in a new location to produce an exact replica of the original quantum state that was destroyed in the sending process. In subsequent years, he made many contributions to a comprehensive rebuilding of classical theory of communication and computation on quantum foundations, serving as a divisional associate editor for Physical Review Letters and the first chair of the APS Group on Quantum Information before it became a Division.

Recently he has become interested in the application of quantum information to cosmology, and characterizing the conditions (including thermal disequilibrium) that lead to the emergence of classical correlations and computationally complex structures from quantum laws.

Bennett is an IBM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, where he has served as chair of the section on Computer and Information Sciences and of the Class on Engineering and Applied Physical Sciences. He is a recipient of the Rank Prize, the Harvey Prize, the Okawa Prize, and the ICTP Dirac Medal. He has traveled widely, speaking to lay and scientific audiences in developed and developing countries on quantum information science and the importance of basic research. He is widowed with three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Candidate Statement:

Besides promoting the health of the DQI division, in particular by sponsoring outstanding DQI members for APS Fellowship and promoting outstanding DQI sessions at the March meeting, an important part of a councilor’s role is to help the APS combat the alarming growth of public apathy, misunderstanding, and outright hostility toward science and scientists. In the mid twentieth century, DuPont’s slogan “Better things for better living, through chemistry” was effective advertising. No company would say that today, when people associate chemistry mainly with environmental pollution and scary unnatural things in their food. Though our division’s topic is not as scary as chemistry, it is universally viewed as incomprehensible. I am often invited to give public lectures on the quantum revolution in computing, i.e. to tell non-scientists how quantum information will change their lives without explaining what it is. Aside from the problem scientists have always had of reminding people of the importance of basic science even though most of its applications are unforeseen, I face the defeatist attitude “How could I presume to understand something that even Einstein thought made no sense?” when I try to tell them that quantum mechanics, like relativity, thermodynamics, and the existence of atoms and galaxies, is a fundamental feature of our world that every educated person should be at least slightly familiar with.

How do we scientists cultivate public enthusiasm and respect for science? Most of us can’t remember a time when we didn’t find science exciting, so we’re often bad at communicating its excitement to those who never felt it. I believe the APS as an organization should liaise with gifted science communicators like Neil deGrasse Tyson and James Gleick, whose books and videos reach millions of non-scientists, hopefully including some with anti-scientific attitudes, and help them produce more, in all media, from books and curricula to YouTube videos and roadside billboards. We should give our students assignments to write and improve Wikipedia articles, learning to navigate the sometimes frustrating culture of that unique and influential medium, and we should collaborate with celebrities, both scientist and non-scientist, willing to lend their star power. An example I have been peripherally involved in is the Caltech video “Anyone can ​Quantum” with nearly five million views, in which actor ​Paul Rudd defeats Stephen Hawking in a game of quantum chess. It is important to recognize that misunderstanding and disrespect for science span the political spectrum. The National Academy of Science, an elite organization if there ever was one, with few members from red states, has struggled mightily to produce outreach material on subjects like evolution, mostly a problem on the right; but its recent short video with Tyson wisely focuses on misconceptions in three areas, two of which (vaccines and genetic engineering) are if anything more prevalent on the left.

It’s an uphill struggle. With all the star power of Caltech, a famous scientist, and a famous actor, “Anyone can Quantum” gleaned only about twice as many views as the grass-roots creationist video “Peanut Butter, the atheist’s nightmare,” which apes the scientific method to refute Darwin. Probably very few people viewed both, which itself is a big part of the problem.

Vice-Chair

 

Andrew Houck, Princeton University

Biography:

Andrew Houck is a professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University. His research group focuses on superconducting quantum computing and non-equilibrium quantum simulation with microwave photons. Before starting his faculty position, he received his B.S in electrical engineering from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in applied physics at Yale University. His work has been recognized with a Packard Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, and a PECASE award.

Candidate Statement:

Quantum information is a field that has combined beautiful physics and mathematics with the promise of real world applications. In recent years, we have seen a surge in industry activity in this area, and we as a community should embrace both ongoing academic science and industry advances. My goals for the DQI are 1) to enhance diversity of the quantum science community and to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all members and 2) to increase the visibility and understanding of quantum information in the public sphere, especially in light of rapidly developing technological advances. I look forward to serving the community in the role of Vice Chair of DQI.

 

Peter Love, Tufts University

Biography:

I am an Associate Professor of Physics at Tufts University. Prior to joining Tufts in 2015 I was a Faculty member at Haverford College, a Liberal arts college outside Philadelphia, from 2006-2015. I was educated at Oxford and have been working in quantum information since 2003. I am particularly interested in quantum simulation of quantum chemistry, adiabatic quantum computation, quantum lattice-gases and cellular automata, and calculation of mixed state entanglement.

Candidate Statement:

This is an unbelievably exciting time in quantum information. Several major experimental efforts, both academic and commercial, are focused on producing quantum computers that cannot be simulated by classical means in the next few years. Algorithms, applications of quantum computing, and quantum information continue to be exciting and fertile theoretical areas. The “It from qubit” project, proposed quantum simulations of QCD and other field theories, and our strong connections with condensed matter and chemistry all show that the connections of quantum information to other areas of Physics continue to grow. DQI is well placed to foster the continued growth of our field. For example, with the emergence of several large commercial efforts DQI should help students, postdocs and Faculty engage productively with these efforts. In addition to continuing to welcome these groups at our meetings we should organize some career events with representatives from quantum companies to give students and postdocs guidance on life in industry. Similarly, this year has seen a large number of Faculty positions advertised in quantum information. DQI could facilitate mentorship for candidates applying to such positions, both for candidates for Physics positions and for positions outside Physics. While unitary quantum processes are invertible – we anticipate the growth of DQI will be monotonic, irreversible and completely positive.

Member-at-Large

 

David Clader, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Biography:

David Clader is a member of the Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), where he leads the Experimental and Computational Physics Group. He is also a Lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering where he teaches Quantum Information Science. He received his B.A. in Physics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 2002. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Rochester in 2008. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Clader spent two years in industry as a prototype software developer. In 2010, he joined the research staff at JHU/APL where his focus returned to quantum information science research.

His Ph.D. research focused on theoretical quantum optics, including light-matter interaction, pulse propagation through quantum media, open quantum systems, and quantum foundations. Upon joining JHU/APL Dr. Clader’s research interest initially focused on quantum algorithms and quantum optical implementations of quantum computers. Over time, his research interests have expanded to include superconducting device theory, quantum error correction, and efficient modeling of open quantum systems. He currently leads a team of theorists and experimentalists working to develop novel noise characterization and modeling tools, primarily aimed at superconducting qubit systems.

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to stand as a candidate for Member at Large for the Division of Quantum Information (DQI). It is a very exciting time to be involved in the field of quantum information science. The challenges we face as a community require collaboration from across diverse scientific disciplines as we seek to develop the tools necessary to build quantum devices. In addition, with the recent growth of the field it is more critical now than ever that we develop and train our younger staff and students for this exciting new field. Finally, while the push for the development of a quantum computer is exciting and noteworthy, the methods we learn as a community in developing the engineering tools can be quite valuable in other areas of quantum science as well such as communication and sensing. We must not lose sight of these other potential important application areas.

As a member at large, I would use the platform to 1) make outreach into the broader scientific community regarding quantum information. My position at JHU/APL allows me to interact with a very broad and diverse community of scientists and engineers within my organization across nearly all scientific disciplines. I look forward to expanding my outreach further across the country and world should I be elected to this position. I believe that cross-disciplinary outreach is critical to the further establishment of the field of quantum information science, and DQI can be a leader in building networks to further this goal. 2) Work with Universities, government labs, and industry to promote opportunities for training and development of new scientists in the field. As quantum information science has rapidly expanded over the past decade, the flow of new scientists with training has not kept up with demand. The time will come when quantum information may need to spread beyond the Physics departments where it has mostly remained. DQI can play an integral role in developing the structure of future Quantum Engineering departments by working across industry, academia, and government labs fostering partnerships, internships and other opportunities for training.

 

Andrew Landahl, Sandia National Laboratories

Biography:

Andrew Landahl is an APS Fellow, a Distinguished Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, and a Research Professor at the University of New Mexico. He received PhD and MS degrees in Physics from Caltech and BS degrees in Physics and Mathematics summa cum laude from Virginia Tech. Before his appointments at UNM and Sandia, he was a Hewlett-Packard/MIT Postdoctoral Fellow at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics and the MIT Media Lab Center for Bits and Atoms. He has served the APS and its affiliates for many years, beginning with two years of service as president of the Virginia Tech SPS chapter as an undergraduate and most recently with four years of service in the APS GQI (now DQI) Chair line from 2012-2015. His research interests are in quantum error correction, quantum algorithms, and quantum computing architectures.

As one of the first US graduate students to complete a PhD in QIS from start to finish beginning in 1996, Landahl has been a tireless advocate of education, outreach, and research in the QIS field for his entire career. He helped develop the first QIS websites for Caltech, MIT, and UNM. He has been on Steering and Program Committees for multiple QIS conferences, including SQuInT, QEC, QIP (which he organized in Santa Fe in 2009), AQC (which he founded in 2012), and the APS March Meeting’s GQI sessions when he was GQI Vice-Chair (135 hours of talks in 2014). He has briefed the staffers for five US House and Senate Congressional Committees on the value of QIS R&D, including a one-on-one briefing to US House Homeland Security Committee Chairman McCaul (TX) in the Capitol. He has also served on multiple national-level panels which charted a path forward for investment in QIS education and R&D, including panels organized by the NSF, DOE, DoD, and the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Candidate Statement:

My passion for the field of quantum information science is perhaps one of my most defining characteristics. After having had the honor of leading the GQI from 2012-2015 in a long line of chairs to help lift it to Division status, I would like to continue to contribute the DQI as a Member at Large. One of the things that I noticed during my time in the Chair line is that the Executive Committee lacks an institutional memory because of its turnover, necessitating frequent scrambling to re-learn lessons that had been learned by previous Committees. I am happy to serve as that conduit to the past to help our new leadership understand how and why decisions were made. However, I am also very excited about the future and helping our field advance forward. I sense that the field is at a tipping point, with industrial investment growing at a rapid pace. How the DQI acts now will have ramifications for a long time. We need to be on guard for a looming boom-bust cycle, taking actions that are more strategic than tactical, such as investing in educational opportunities for young people and fostering communications and relationships between academia, corporations, and policymakers. As a scientist at a National Laboratory that straddles both academia and industry, I can serve as a bridge between these communities as a DQI Member at Large. Finally, I would like to continue the sustained growth in the DQI membership by reaching out to communities where the language of QIS is becoming more and more mainstream, such as the high-energy physics, gravitational physics, and theoretical computer science communities. Cutting-edge research in these fields often intersects QIS, yet many of its practitioners are not DQI members. We need to engage these folks and bring them under our DQI umbrella, providing them opportunities to network and present their research in a QIS-friendly environment.

Secretary-Treasurer

 

Bei Zeng, University of Guelph

Biography:

Prof. Bei Zeng is an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Guelph. She received the B.Sc. degree in physics and mathematics in 2002 and M.Sc. degree in physics in 2004, from Tsinghua University. She received the Ph.D. degree in physics from MIT in 2009. After a one year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, she joined the University of Guelph. Her research interests include quantum information theory, coding theory, quantum computation, theory of quantum entanglement, and mathematical physics.

Prof. Zeng is an associate faculty at the Institute for Quantum Computing and a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, since 2010. Prof. Zeng was named the Emmy Noether Fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in 2016. In Jan. 2018, the newly established Shenzhen Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering at the Southern University of Science and Technology in China appointed Prof. Zeng an adjunct professor and the chair of the quantum computing division.

Candidate Statement:

Quantum information science and technology have received significant attention from scientific, industrial and public communities due to the fast development in understanding new physics and building devices for both  quantum communication and computation, especially in recently years. The DQI is an expanding group of experts that aim to advance our scientific knowledge and develop new information technologies. To meet the need of bringing more people with diverse background together and facilitate their scientific collaboration, the financial sector of DQI plans to: 1) Increase DQI invited sessions at march meeting; 2) Fund a Young Researcher award; 3) Provide prizes for best grad student talks; 4) Raise more DQI funds by finding additional industry sponsorship. Within the past few years I have raised funding for organizing several international conferences on quantum information sciences, in places all over the world. I look forward to taking the role of  DQI Secretary-Treasurer to serve the APS quantum information community.

 

Emily Pritchett, HRL Laboratories

Biography:

Since 2013, Emily Pritchett has been a Research Staff Physicist at HRL Laboratories, a privately-owned LLC that performs fundamental research and development for its owners and government contracts.  She received her BS and PhD (2010) from the University of Georgia under the supervision of Michael Geller, graduating with thesis titled, “Superconducting Quantum Computation:  Devices, Gate Design, and Quantum Simulation.” She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) from 2010-2011 and at Saarland University 2011-2013, working in the group of Frank Wilhelm-Mauch at both institutions.  She is an applied theorist, having worked on the design, modeling, control, and measurement of a variety of superconducting and semiconducting quantum devices.

Candidate Statement:

Quantum information is a uniquely cross-disciplinary field, spanning many branches of physics and ranging from fundamental theory to more applied engineering.  As evidenced by its recent promotion to DQI, GQI has been a driving force behind the establishment and expansion of this field since 2002, helping to bring many young scientists into the research community.  Relatively clear, publicly-accessible goals shape the job market for quantum information scientists differently than for other physicists, making it more feasible to work outside of academia with precisely the skills developed during a PhD.  DQI has embraced this distinction from other divisions by exposing young researchers to job opportunities outside of academia and to interface industrial and government scientists to potential academic collaborations.  I have personally benefitted from the symposia, workshops, and connections fostered by (G)DQI throughout my career – both as an academic and industrial scientist – and would be honored to serve DQI in the position of Secretary-Treasurer. ​

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *