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Seminar with NASA’s Eleanor Rieffel

A NASA perspective on quantum computing: Algorithmic opportunities and challenges

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Jorgensen Hall Room: 110
Target Audiences:
Susan Hermiller, (402) 472-3731,
In the last couple of decades, the world has seen several stunning instances of quantum algorithms that provably outperform the best classical algorithms. For most problems, however, it is currently unknown whether quantum algorithms can provide an advantage and, if so, how to design quantum algorithms that
realize such advantages. Today, classical heuristics are used to solve many of the most challenging computational problems arising in the practical world, algorithms that have been shown to be effective empirically but have not been mathematically proven to outperform other approaches. With the advent of quantum advantage, the ability of current quantum hardware to do certain
computations beyond the ability of even the largest supercomputers, we have an unprecedented opportunity to explore heuristic quantum algorithms. The next few years will be exciting as empirical testing of quantum heuristic algorithms
becomes more and more feasible. The talk will begin with an overview of the NASA QuAIL team’s ongoing quantum computing investigations and then focus on both near-term and longer-term algorithms for optimization, including distributed algorithms.

Eleanor G. Rieffel leads the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the NASA Ames Research Center and is the NASA Senior Researcher for Advanced Computing and Data Analytics. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is best known for her 2011 book Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction with coauthor Wolfgang Polak
and published by MIT Press.

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