Beyond Postdocalypse

Even more postdocs 🙂 Peter Love from Haverford College has postdocs for quantum simulation, the most important, yet with apologies to those who have made major progress in this field, still least understood portion of quantum algorithms.  Which is why you should do this postdoc and help us all understand the power of quantum simulation:

Postdoctoral position in Quantum Information
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in quantum information at Haverford College.  The successful applicant will work with Peter Love and collaborators on the development of methods for the simulation of quantum systems on quantum computers, but will also be able to pursue their own research agenda. Applications of particular interest include methods for quantum chemistry, including electronic
structure and chemical reactions.  Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science or other relevant subject by the starting date.
Haverford College, located 10 miles from downtown Philadelphia, is one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges.  Its Physics and astronomy program emphasizes research both in and out of the classroom. The Departments of Physics and astronomy comprise seven faculty and three existing postdoctoral scholars. The qualified and interested applicant will have the option to participate in this program by advising undergraduate research students and possibly teaching within the physics department.
The initial appointment will be for one year, with possible extension to three years.  The position is available to begin on the 1st January 2011, but the starting date is negotiable.  Applicants should send a cover letter, CV, bibliography, and a statement of research experience and interest, and arrange to have at least two letters of recommendation sent
Peter Love
Department of Physics, KINSC
Haverford College
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford PA 19041
Applications received by Nov. 1 2010 will be given full consideration, but will be accepted until the position is filled.
Included Benefits:
A full benefits package is provided with this job.  The full dental coverage and maternity leave begin after one year of employment.

And as always, the best postdoc positions around, okay so I’m biased…the Omidyar Postdocs at the Santa Fe Institute:

The Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Santa Fe Institute offers you:

  • unparalleled intellectual freedom
  • transdisciplinary collaboration with leading researchers worldwide
  • up to three years in residence in Santa Fe, NM
  • competitive salary and generous benefits
  • discretionary research and collaboration funds
  • individualized mentorship and preparation for your next leadership role
  • an intimate, creative work environment with an expansive sky

The Omidyar Fellowship at the Santa Fe Institute is unique among postdoctoral appointments. The Institute has no formal programs or departments. Research is collaborative and spans the physical, natural, and social sciences. Most research is theoretical and/or computational in nature, although may include an empirical component. SFI averages 15 resident faculty, 95 external faculty, and 250 visitors per year. Descriptions of the research themes and interests of the faculty and current Fellows can be found at

  • a Ph.D. in any discipline (or expect to receive one by September 2011)
  • – computational and quantitative skills
  • an exemplary academic record
  • a proven ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • a demonstrated interest in multidisciplinary research
  • evidence of the ability to think outside traditional paradigms

Applications are welcome from:

  • candidates from any country
  • candidates from any discipline
  • women and minorities, as they are especially encouraged to apply.

SFI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Application Materials:
Interested candidates must submit the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae (including publications list).
  2. Statement of research interests (max. 2 pages) to include a short description of the research you would like to pursue and why.
  3. Description of interest in SFI (max. 1 page) that describes your potential contribution to the SFI community and also explains the potential impact of SFI on your research. Consider addressing one or more of the following: What sort of input from other fields would most improve your future research? What type of multidisciplinary workshop might you want to organize during your Fellowship? What aspects of your present or future research are difficult to pursue in a traditional academic environment?
  4. Three letters of recommendation from scholars who know your work. (The letters should be sent independent of the application. When you complete the online application, please be prepared to provide e-mail addresses of the three individuals who will recommend you. SFI will contact them directly with instructions for submitting letters.)
  5. (Optional) A copy of one paper you have written in English, either published or unpublished.

The Omidyar Fellowship at the Santa Fe Institute is made possible by a generous gift from Pam and Pierre Omidyar.
The Santa Fe Institute is a private, independent, multidisciplinary research and education center founded in 1984. Since its founding, SFI has devoted itself to creating a new kind of scientific research community, pursuing emerging synthesis in science. Operating as a visiting institution, SFI seeks to catalyze new collaborative, multidisciplinary research; to break down the barriers between the traditional disciplines; to spread its ideas and methodologies to other institutions; and to encourage the practical application of its results.
To apply:
Online application site open 1 Sept – 1 Nov 2010.
We ONLY accept online applications via the online-application site.
To begin your online application click HERE
Inquiries: email to (Javascript must be enabled to see this e-mail address) // < ![CDATA[
// ]]>ofellowshipinfo [atatat]

3 Replies to “Beyond Postdocalypse”

  1. Dave, IMHO you are well-justified in regarding quantum simulation as “the most important … yet still least understood portion of quantum algorithms.:
    From a historical point-of-view, this may be because two of the seminal articles from the 1980s, namely Richard Feynman’s 1982 APS Keynote speech “Simulating physics with computers” (1982) and Richard Thompson’s 1989 Nature review “Is quantum mechanics linear?” (1989) have virtues and deficit very reminiscent of Vinay Deolalikar’s recent (claimed) P≠NP proof.
    That virtue of these two 1980’s articles is that they are solidly founded in physical reasoning, and the deficit is that neither is solidly founded in mathematical reasoning.
    Physicists can get away with shaky foundations longer than mathematicians … but really … isn’t an inspection and overhaul of QIS’ mathematical foundations decades overdue?

  2. Dave, nowadays The Quantum Pontiff is undeservedly quiet for such a fine topic as “Quantum simulation: the most important, yet still least understood, portion of quantum algorithms.”
    So let’s try a little harder to construct a narrative that elicits at least some response from the STEM blogosphere … hmmm … howzabout this one?
    Quantum mechanics from a late 21st century perspective
    From our late 21st century perspective, we now perceive the 20th century as being dominated by a prolonged “ice age” of quantum physics, in which a 70-year sequence of textbooks (Dirac, Messiah, Gottfried, Nielsen and Chuang, etc.)—written with a clarity so great as to be compelling—instantiated quantum dynamics on rigidly linear Hilbert spaces. The spectral theorems and and group representation theories associated to these Hilbert spaces were so powerful as to fully engage the attention of three full generations of physicists.
    Meanwhile, during the latter half of the 20th century, mathematicians were developing a toolset—largely associated to classical dynamics and category theory—whose ideas were more naturally linked to geometry and topology than to spectral theorems and algebras.
    The “big thaw” of quantum mechanics arrived in the early decades of the 20th century, in the form of a merger between these two great schools of mathematical physics. During the ice age, Kählerian state-spaces had been regarded as computationally useful approximations, onto which the “true” Hilbert space was pulled-back.
    The “quantum thaw” of the early 21st century was associated with a fundamental change in perspective, in which researchers experimented seriously with regarding Kählerian state-spaces as the “true” dynamical state-space of nature, with Hilbert space being a computationally useful approximation onto which the “true” Kählerian dynamics were pulled-back.
    The tension between these two (formally equivalent) points-of-view was resolved gracefully in the middle decades of the 21st century, when it became apparent that the multiple mathematical possibilities for instantiating Kähler→Hilbert pullbacks, when constrained to respect causality, separability, and relativity, corresponded precisely to the multiple equivalent instantiations of M-theory.
    Nowadays, in the latter decades of the 21st century, we teach quantum dynamics *both* ways: the algebraic “Hilbert” way when we wish to focus upon spectral theorems and group representations, and the geometric “Kähler” way when we wish to focus upon efficient simulation, cosmology, and the (still unresolved) mysteries of M-theory.
    Now, how’s *that* for a pleasing, optimistic math/physics narrative?

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