Quantum computing is a paradigm for computing that potentially allows certain classes of problems to be solved far more quickly than is possible on conventional computers. There has recently been large progress in the development of intermediate-scale quantum-computer prototypes, thanks to commitments from a number of industrial players, including IBM, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and several startup companies. In this talk I will introduce what quantum computers are, what promise they have to solve difficult computational problems, what problems we can expect might be solved using upcoming hardware prototypes over the next few years, and what major outstanding challenges for the field remain. I will emphasize problems in optimization, quantum simulation, and machine learning.
Peter McMahon is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford, and will begin as an Assistant Professor in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University in July 2019. He has a background in experimental quantum information and optical computing. His research interests are in how we can build computers that fundamentally outperform conventional systems, including quantum and neurmorphic computers, and how to design algorithms for these new classes of machines.