Due to a technical hitch, we regret that this ICTP Colloquium has had to be postponed to later in the summer. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to those waiting online. ICTP Scott Aaronson is David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his bachelor's from Cornell University and his PhD from UC Berkeley. Before coming to UT Austin, he spent nine years as a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Aaronson's research in theoretical computer science has focused mainly on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers. His first book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. He received the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, the United States PECASE Award, and the Tomassoni-Chisesi Prize in Physics. Abstract: 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. Google's accomplishment drew on a decade of research in my field of quantum complexity theory. This talk will discuss questions like: what exactly was the (contrived) problem that Sycamore 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 and others? I'll end with a possible application for Google's experiment - namely, the generation of trusted public random bits, for use (for example) in cryptocurrencies - that I've been developing and that Google and NIST are now working to test. This event is an initiative of the Trieste Institute for the Theory of Quantum Technologies (TQT). TQT was established in 2019 in collaboration with SISSA and the University of Trieste as an international centre of excellence promoting research in the field of quantum technologies, serving as a catalyst for theoretical activities not only in Italy, but also in neighbouring and developing countries. TQT is hosted on the ICTP Campus. More information is available at: https://www.ictp.it/about-ictp/media-centre/news/2019/3/tqt-pre-launch.aspx. The talk will be available on livestream via the ICTP website, and also on ICTP's YouTube channel. Pre-registration is required at the following Zoom ID: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RITne_8aRxK85EsQHAsQLQ. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with the link.
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