A great success for a unifying workshop
Steven FlammiaPhoto : David Poulin
From April 3rd to 20th, Professor David Poulin organized a workshop on New Directions in Quantum Error Correction. This workshop brought together leading international experts in theoretical quantum information, who teamed up with IQ researchers address some of the field’s many challenges. More than twenty participating students were able to take advantage of these moments to exchange with the visiting researchers.
In addition to this research component, the event offered a series educational courses on cutting-edge topics in theoretical quantum computing. Presenters and topics were:
- Michael Beverland (Microsoft) – Color quantum codes
- Benjamin Brown (Sydney) – Self-correcting quantum memories
- Guillaume Dauphinais (Madrid) – Decoding topological codes
- Steven Flammia (Sydney) – Statistical physics of quantum error correction
- Tomas Jochym-O’Connor (Caltech) – Scattered quantum codes
- Aleksander Kubica (Perimeter Institute) – Topological order stability
- Fernando Pastawski (Berlin)- Quantum holographic codes
- Theodore Yoder (IBM) – Approximate error correction
In the course he presented, Steven Flammia discussed the connection between statistical physics and quantum error correction – the physics of large numbers of interacting systems and the science of fixing bugs in quantum information processors. “These types of events are important for at least two reasons. First, the students benefit from interacting with and learning from experts. Having several experts lecture on topics inevitably leads to ideas being explained in several different ways, and in my experience, this is invaluable to enhancing student understanding. Second, having a small number of experts together to have a focused workshop is great because we all speak a common language. We don’t have to waste time explaining the background and motivation for our work to a broad audience, we can just dive in and try to solve the deep questions that are important for progress in our field.
My favorite part of the workshop has been meeting some of the bright students and postdocs that work on topics in quantum information at Sherbrooke.”
As for Guillaume Dauphinais, his lectures explained how software methods can be used to reduce errors in a quantum computer. Care must therefore be taken to avoid corrupting the information encoded in quantum states by means of interactions with the environment. “During my series of lectures at the workshop, I presented various families of decoding algorithms which allow to correct the excitations created by noise processing without affecting the encoded information, as long as the noise processes are not too strong.”
Back to his alma mater, he took the opportunity to pass on some of his experience to the students: “I find this kind of event particularly valuable in that it allows to bring together several experts coming from various institutions from all over the world and to have time to perform extensive work, as opposed to having some quick chats at more standard conferences. It allows to have very interesting and illuminating discussions on very specialized topics. It is also a good occasion to do some networking and to keep up to date with what’s going on in the field. Finally, I think that it is a great opportunity for the students attending to the lectures to learn about multiple aspects of the field of quantum information theory from various young active researchers with different backgrounds and point of views.
I enjoyed having various enriching discussions with my fellow researchers, not only on science and their latest research, but also on a personal level. As doing research in science often implies moving to a different country of a different culture and language far away from family and friends, I find that sharing experiences with people having been through it very helpful.”
Various workshops are organized by the Institut quantique. Stay tuned for upcoming workshops and guest researchers!