ISL Colloquium
The ISL Colloquium convenes in person again (on Thursdays at 4pm PT in Packard 101) as of Fall 2021. For those unable to attend, talks are also streamed via Zoom. To avoid "Zoom-bombing", we ask attendees to input their email address here to receive the Zoom meeting details via email.

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Theoretical Reflections on Quantum Supremacy

Umesh Vazirani – Professor, UC Berkeley

Thu, 16-Jan-2020 / 4:30pm / Packard 101



The recent demonstration of quantum supremacy by Google is a first step towards the era of small to medium scale quantum computation. In this talk I will explain what the experiment accomplished and the theoretical work it is based on, as well as what it did not accomplish and the many theoretical and practical challenges that remain. I will also describe recent breakthroughs in the design of protocols for the testing and benchmarking of quantum computers, a task that has deep computational and philosophical implications. Specifically, this leads to protocols for scalable and verifiable quantum supremacy, certifiable quantum random generation and verification of quantum computation.

The talk will be aimed at a broad audience.


Umesh Virkumar Vazirani is the Roger A. Strauch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and the director of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center. He is one of the pioneers of quantum computation, and has worked on the computational foundations of randomness and the theory of classical algorithms. Vazirani is member of the National Academy of Science, and the author of two books: An Introduction to Computational Learning Theory with Michael Kearns (MIT Press) and Algorithms with Sanjoy Dasgupta and Christos Papadimitriou (McGraw Hill).