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Self-correcting Fractals

A really exciting paper appeared on the arxiv today: A proposal for self-correcting stabilizer quantum memories in 3 dimensions (or slightly less), by Courtney Brell. It gives the strongest evidence yet that self-correcting quantum memories are possible in “physically realistic” three-dimensional … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum | Leave a comment

A Breakthrough Donation for Computer Science

Lance Fortnow has a post summarizing some of the news affecting the CS community over the past month, including updates on various prizes as well as the significant media attention focusing on physics- and math-related topics such as movies about Turing and … Continue reading

Posted in $$$, Computer Science, Prize | 5 Comments

Goodbye Professor Tombrello

This morning I awoke to the horrible news that Caltech Physics Professor Tom Tombrello had passed away. Professor Tombrello was my undergraduate advisor, my research advisor, a mentor, and, most importantly a friend. His impact on me, from my career … Continue reading

Posted in Caltech, Self: Meet Center. Center: Meet Self., Teaching | 4 Comments

Sailing Stones: Mystery No More

My first research project, my first research paper, was on a perplexing phenomenon: the sliding rocks of Death Valley’s Racetrack playa. Racetrack playa is a large desolate dry lake bed that has one distinguishing feature above and beyond its amazing … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, Go Ahead, Waste Your Time | 1 Comment

QIP 2015

The website is up for QIP 2015, which will be held this year in beautiful Sydney, Australia. Here is a timeline of the relevant dates: Submission of talks deadline: Sep 12, 2014 Submission of posters deadline: Oct 25, 2014 Decision on talks … Continue reading

Posted in Announcement, Conferences, QIS Annoucements, Quantum | 3 Comments

Elsevier again, and collective action

We all know about higher education being squeezed financially. Government support is falling and tuition is going up. We see academic jobs getting scarcer, and more temporary. The pressure for research to focus on the short term is going up. … Continue reading

Posted in $$$, Science 2.0, Scientific Publishing | 19 Comments

Quantum computers can work in principle

Gil Kalai has just posted on his blog a series of videos of his lectures entitled “why quantum computers cannot work.”  For those of us that have followed Gil’s position on this issue over the years, the content of the videos … Continue reading

Posted in Extralusionary Intelligence, Quantum Computing | 20 Comments

TQC 2014!

While many of us are just recovering from QIP, I want to mention that the submission deadline is looming for the conference TQC, which perhaps should be called TQCCC because its full name is Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication and … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Quantum Computing, Science 2.0, Scientific Publishing, scirate | Leave a comment

Two Cultures in One of the Cultures

A long time ago in a mental universe far far away I gave a talk to a theory seminar about quantum algorithms. An excerpt from the abstract: Quantum computers can outperform their classical brethren at a variety of algorithmic tasks….[yadda … Continue reading

Posted in Extralusionary Intelligence, Off The Deep End, Quantum Computing | 3 Comments

Error correcting aliens

Happy New Year!  To celebrate let’s talk about error correcting codes and….aliens. The universe, as many have noted, is kind of like a computer.  Or at least our best description of the universe is given by equations that prescribe how … Continue reading

Posted in Astrobiology, Computer Science, Extralusionary Intelligence, Off The Deep End | 10 Comments