Summer 2020

PQI2020 Public Lecture Featuring Scott Aaronson

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 5 August 2020

Dr. Scott J. Aaronson, David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, will give the PQI2020 Public Lecture on Thursday, August 20th at 3:30 PM. 

Last fall, a team at Google announced the first-ever demonstration of "quantum computational supremacy"---that is, a clear quantum speedup over a classical computer for some task---using a 53-qubit programmable superconducting chip called Sycamore.  In addition to engineering, Google's accomplishment built on a decade of research in quantum complexity theory.  This talk will discuss questions like: what exactly was the contrived problem that Google solved?  How does one verify the outputs using a classical computer?  And how confident are we that the problem is classically hard---especially in light of subsequent counterclaims by IBM?  He'll end with a proposed application for Google's experiment---namely, the generation of certified random bits, for use (for example) in proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies---that he has been developing and that Google is now working to demonstrate.

Click this link to watch live on the PQI Youtube channel and ask questions in the livechat.

NSF Funds Wissam Saidi for Computational Materials Research

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 5 August 2020

Dr. Wissam Saidi, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh, was selected to receive $600,000 of NSF funding over 3 years. The Saidi group develops and uses multiscale simulation tools, including force-field, density-functional theory, quantum Monte Carlo and quantum chemistry methods, to understand, predict, and design novel materials for applications in energy conversion and storage, surfaces and interfaces, spectroscopy, and nanoparticles.

The goal of the proposal, "DeepPDB: An open-source active-learning framework to enable high-fidelity atomistic simulations in unexplored material space", will be to offer an open-source toolkit with the ability to automatically generate estimates of force-fields parameters using advanced empirical-based computational tools.

PQI2020 Week 6: Quantum Optics

This weeks focus is on quantum optics and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Dan Stamper-Kurn from UC Berkeley, and PQI member contributing speakers, Andrew Daley from the University of Strathclyde and Tom Purdy from Pitt.

Andrew Daley (UStrathclyde), “Reaching practical quantum advantage in quantum simulation”

Dan Stamper-Kurn (UC Berkeley) “Using Light to Measure and Control Quantum Systems"

Tom Purdy (Pitt), "The Quantum Optical Level”

David Waldeck Named a 2020 ACS Fellow

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 3 August 2020

David Waldeck, Professor in Chemistry at Pitt, was selected as one of the 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows. The ACS Fellows program began in 2009 as a way to recognize ACS members for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and ACS. 

With regard to his science and profession, Dave is recognized for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of electron and spin transfer in molecules and their assemblies; and the positive impact of his administrative leadership and mentorship of junior colleagues.

PQI New Student Orientation

Speaker(s): 
PQI Staff
Dates: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 2:00pm

Welcome to all new graduate students! The Pittsburgh Quantum Institute is hosting a zoom meeting to welcome you, and let you know about all the opportunities PQI offers that can help you get a head start in the next stage of your academic career. 

PQI's mission is to unify and promote quantum science and engineering in Pittsburgh. We have over 100 faculty from Pitt, CMU and Duquesne University, in departments of physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, business, and philosophy of science. We can help you get familiar with your department and let you know about the wide...

PQI New Student Orientation

Speaker(s): 
PQI Staff
Dates: 
Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 9:00am

Welcome to all new graduate students! The Pittsburgh Quantum Institute is hosting a zoom meeting to welcome you, and let you know about all the opportunities PQI offers that can help you get a head start in the next stage of your academic career. 

PQI's mission is to unify and promote quantum science and engineering in Pittsburgh. We have over 100 faculty from Pitt, CMU and Duquesne University, in departments of physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, business, and philosophy of science. We can help you get familiar with your department and let you know about the wide...

PQI2020 Week 5: Quantum Materials

This week's focus is on quantum materials and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Xiaodong Xu from the University of Washington, and PQI member contributing speakers, Jimmy Zhu from CMU and Nathan Youngblood from Pitt.

Jimmy Zhu (CMU), “Field Free Spin Hall Switching of Perpendicular MTJs”

Xiadong Xu (University of Washington) “2D Magnets and Heterostructures"

Nathan Youngblood (Pitt), "Highly parallel in-memory computing with phase-change photonics”

Reeja Jayan Receives 2020 Dean's Early Career Fellowship

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 17 July 2020

Reeja Jayan was selected to receive the CMU 2020 Dean’s Early Career Fellowship in recognition for her exemplary contributions to her field. The Dean’s Early Career Fellowships are awarded to untenured faculty members who have been nominated by their department heads. They were selected to receive the fellowship after review and discussion by the College of Engineering Review Committee.

Reeja leads her multidisciplinary lab’s research in field-assisted materials growth, exploring different ways electromagnetic fields can synthesize materials previously unavailable for conventional synthesis routes. Her work has been awarded funding from the Department of Energy (DOE), Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and private sponsors. Jayan has earned numerous young investigator awards, including the 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, The Incline Who’s Next: Technology Award, and Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Congrats Reeja!

PQI2020 Week 4: Quantum Computing

This week's focus is on quantum computing and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Shiwei Zhang from the Flatiron Institute and William & Mary, and PQI member contributing speaker, Yang Wang from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Yang Wang (PSC), “Ab initio electronic structure calculation at the dawn of exascale computing”

Shiwei Zhang (Flatiron + William&Mary) “Towards the solution of the many-electron problem: ground-state properties of the hydrogen chain from ab initio computation"

PQI2020 Week 3: Quantum Chemistry

This week's focus is on quantum chemistry and we are pleased to be joined by our featured speaker, Heather Kulik from MIT, and PQI member contributing speakers, Olexandr Isayev from CMU and Peng Liu from University of Pittsburgh.

Olexandr Isayev (CMU) “Supercharging quantum mechanics with artificial intelligence (AI)”

Heather Kulik (MIT) “Molecular design blueprints: new simulation and machine learning tools for inorganic discovery”

Peng Liu (Pitt) "Using Energy Decomposition Analysis to Guide Rational Catalyst Design"

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