This article is published in the November 2018 issue.

Quantum Computing Workshop Report

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) has recently released a workshop report from the May 2018 workshop Next Steps in Quantum Computing: Computer Science’s Role. The report highlights how computer scientists can contribute to advances in quantum computing and identifies key trends and research needs in five areas: algorithms, devices, architecture, programming models and toolchains, and verification.

Some research needs identified in the report include:

  • The need for new Quantum Computing algorithms that can make use of the limited qubit counts and precisions available in the foreseeable future.
  • The need for research regarding how best to implement and optimize programming, mapping, and resource management for QC systems through the functionality in between algorithms and devices.
  • Efficiency in QC Linear systems and machine learning algorithms hinges on finding an efficient way for the quantum hardware to access large amounts of classical input data, which is currently a fundamental bottleneck for potential speedups in this application class.
  • QC research will benefit from involving people and ideas from many other fields. Particularly mentioned were topics like probabilistic programming and the approximate/unreliable computing field, for instance, recent work on program logic for union bound and verifying quantitative reliability.

You can read the full workshop report here (insert link), and to learn more about the NSF QCIS-FF solicitation visit the webpage here.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) has released a new program solicitation titled NSF Quantum Computing & Information Science Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) with a total $6.75 million in anticipated funding.

This solicitation is centered around one of NSF’s “Quantum Leap” one of the 2016 “Big Ideas.” The goal of Quantum Leap is to generate advances in quantum technology including quantum computing, communication, simulations, and sensors, in order to catalyze a quantum revolution.

From the NSF solicitation:

This “quantum revolution” requires a highly-trained workforce that can advance the envelope of what is possible, through research and development of practical solutions for quantum technologies. Academic faculty serve a vital role in the development of this workforce, by training the next generation of students while performing vital research.

The disciplines of computer science (CS), information science (IS), and computer engineering (CE) are at the nexus of the interdisciplinary breakthroughs needed to design advanced quantum computing, modeling, communication and sensing technologies. NSF recognizes that there is inadequate research capacity in the CS/CE disciplines in the realm of Quantum Computing & Information Science (QCIS).

The QCIS-Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) program therefore aims to grow academic research capacity in the computing and information science fields to support advances in quantum computing and/or communication over the long term. Specifically, QCIS-FF seeks to support departments and schools in U.S. institutions of higher education that conduct research and teaching in computer science, information science, and/or computer engineering, with the specific goal of encouraging hiring of tenure-track and tenured faculty in quantum computing and/or communication. Cross-disciplinary and multi-department hires are welcomed; however, intellectual ownership and primary assignment should be with the department primarily engaged in research and teaching activities for computer and information science and engineering. NSF funding will support the entire academic year salary and benefits of the newly recruited tenure-track or tenured faculty member for a duration of up to three years. Each proposal must request support for only one faculty position. Total budget is not to exceed $750,000 per proposal, with up to two awards per institution, across all departments in any given institution.

Preliminary Proposal Due Date is December 17, 2018, and July 01, 2019. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time.

Quantum Computing Workshop Report