Author Archives: chb

Are articles in high-impact journals more like designer handbags, or monarch butterflies?

US biologist Randy Schekman, who shared this year’s physiology and medicine Nobel prize, has made prompt use of his new bully pulpit. In How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science: The incentives offered by top journals distort … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Science By Press Release, Scientific Publishing | Leave a comment

QIP 2014 accepted talks

This Thanksgiving, even if we can’t all be fortunate enough to be presenting a talk at QIP, we can be thankful for being part of a vibrant research community with so many different lines of work going on. The QIP … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Quantum | 10 Comments

Portrait of an Academic at a Midlife Crisis

Citations are the currency of academia. But the currency of your heart is another thing altogether. With apologies to my co-authors, here is a plot of my paper citations versus my own subjective rating of the paper. Hover over the … Continue reading

Posted in Go Ahead, Waste Your Time, Quantum Computing, Self: Meet Center. Center: Meet Self. | 1 Comment

happy deadline everyone!

The main proof in one of my QIP submissions has developed a giant hole. Hopefully the US Congress does a better job with its own, somewhat higher stakes, deadline. In many ways their job is easier. They can just submit … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Politics | 4 Comments

When I Was Young, I Thought It Would Be Different….

When I was in graduate school (back before the earth cooled) I remember thinking the following thoughts: Quantum computing is a new field filled with two types of people: young people dumb enough to not know they weren’t supposed to … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Computing, The Loony Bin Called Academia | 9 Comments

Important upcoming deadlines

As part of our ongoing service to the quantum information community, we here at the Quantum Pontiff would be remiss if we didn’t remind you of important upcoming deadlines. We all know that there is a certain event coming in … Continue reading

Posted in Physics Bastardizations | 7 Comments

Why I Left Academia

TLDR: scroll here for the pretty interactive picture. Over two years ago I abandoned my post at the University of Washington as a assistant research professor studying quantum computing and started a new career as a software developer for Google. … Continue reading

Posted in Extralusionary Intelligence, Go Ahead, Waste Your Time, Off The Deep End, Programming, Self: Meet Center. Center: Meet Self., The Loony Bin Called Academia | 12 Comments

Cosmology meets Philanthropy — guest post by Jess Riedel

My colleague Jess Riedel recently attended a conference¬† exploring the connection between these seemingly disparate subjects, which led him to compose the following essay.–CHB People sometimes ask me what how my research will help society. ¬†This question is familiar to … Continue reading

Posted in Astrobiology, Astronomy, Economics, Off The Deep End, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Scientific Birthdays –Toffoli gate honored on namesake’s 70’th

Tommaso Toffoli’s 3-input 3-output logic gate, central to the theory of reversible and quantum computing, recently featured on a custom cake made for his 70’th birthday. Nowadays scientists’ birthday celebrations often take the form of informal mini-conferences, festschrifts without the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Physics, Quantum | 7 Comments

Resolution of Toom’s rule paradox

A few days ago our Ghost Pontiff Dave Bacon wondered how Toom’s noisy but highly fault-tolerant 2-state classical cellular automaton¬† can get away with violating the Gibbs phase rule, according to which a finite-dimensional locally interacting system, at generic points … Continue reading

Posted in General, Mathematics, Physics | 5 Comments