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Berkeley Lab Researchers Honored with Best Paper Award at QCE22

September 28, 2022

Contact: cscomms@lbl.gov

Last week, three researchers from Berkeley Lab’s Quantum Algorithms Group — Wim Lavrijsen, Costin Iancu, and Wibe de Jong — and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Julianne Mueller (formerly a Berkeley Lab staff scientist) were honored with a Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering (QCE22) for “Accelerating Noisy VQE Optimization with Gaussian Processes.”

We are in the era of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices, where quantum computers with 50-100 qubits may perform tasks that surpass the capabilities of conventional computers, but “noise” surrounding the qubits limits the size of scientific problems that can be reliably executed. This “noise” can come from control electronics, heat, or impurities in the quantum computing hardware, which can cause computing errors that are difficult to detect.

In this era of NISQ, researchers need to develop creative solutions to solve real-world problems on these devices. For some problems in computational chemistry, hybrid variational quantum algorithms — like the variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) — that run partly on a classical computer and partly on a quantum system are one such solution. In this paper, the Berkeley Lab team introduced a robust Gaussian Process algorithm that allows researchers to efficiently and effectively identify good solutions for VQE in the presence of quantum noise.

“This is the third year in a row that Berkeley Lab researchers have been awarded the best paper award at QCE. It shows that we are pushing the state-of-the-art in quantum software and algorithms forward,” said de Jong, who heads Berkeley Lab’s Computational Science Department and serves as the team director of the Accelerated Research for Quantum Computing (ARQC) Team AIDE-QC.

The U.S. Department of Energy supported this work through the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research Quantum Algorithms Team and Accelerated Research in Quantum Computing programs.

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About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery. Researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.