Six Quantum Experts Share Their Christmas Wish Lists

Published by whurley (12/25/2017)

For Christmas Day, Whurley Taps Six Quantum Computing Experts to Share their Christmas Wish Lists

As I sat there on Christmas Eve morning, I felt the end of the year coming fast. I wanted to come up with a few last 2017 posts that might actually be of some interest. So I reached out to some of the stars of the quantum universe and asked them to share their Christmas wish lists (and in one case, a present). I took the best wish from each and included it below. Here’s what some of your favorite quantum computing peeps hope they’ll get this year.

Michael J. Biercuk (Founder, Q-Ctrl)

We just had an excellent quantum Christmas present. At 4:30 p.m. on not only the last day of work before Christmas, but also the last day one of my Ph.D. students was working in the lab before moving over to Q-Ctrl, he finally saw first light from ions in our Penning trap. He had been developing that system for about three years. A Christmas miracle!

Dr. Hidetoshi Nishimori (Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology)

A useful application of quantum annealing, proven to be exponentially faster than classical algorithms.

Dave Bacon (Staff Software Engineer, Google)

Peace on earth and goodwill between quantum folks in industry, startup-land, and academia.

Dr. Brian La Cour (Director, ARL:UT Center for Quantum Research)

For my quantum Christmas wish list, Big Blue Santa promised me a brand new teacher dashboard for ARL:UT’s upcoming freshman research course on quantum computing. Students will use the dashboard to “get experienced” with quantum computing by remotely accessing Santa’s workshop up north. Just waiting on the elves to make their first beta release . . .

Helmut Katzgraber (Professor, Texas A&M University)

A president that believes in science and a (faculty) job elsewhere.

Bo Ewald (President, D-Wave Systems U.S.)

While the technology that we all are developing is really cool, and programming the systems is, and will be, an art for awhile, in the end, quantum computers need to be able to do something that we couldn’t do before, or run an existing application better, faster, or using less power. So, my wishlist is pretty simple and has a pattern to it. See if you can find it! First, I hope that between all of us, we can get one real quantum application running that makes a difference this year. My second wish is for a second application, my third for a third, and that’s probably enough for this year!

What a treat to hear a few Christmas wishes from some of our favorite people in quantum computing. For my part, I wish for each of you a joyous holiday with family and friends!