SIAM News Blog

Introducing Part II of the Special Issue on Quantum Computing

By David Hyde and Alex Pothen

In April 2024, SIAM News published its first-ever Special Issue on Quantum Computing. The four featured articles connected quantum computing to applied math and addressed a wide variety of topics, from the end-to-end complexity of quantum algorithms to the synergies between quantum computing and machine learning and even applications to financial mathematics. The current edition of SIAM News serves as a follow-up to the previous installment and includes a second series of articles by quantum computing experts who continue to explore the intersection of quantum computing, applied mathematics, and computational science (see Figure 1). The insights from this two-part Special Issue demonstrate the powerful ability of quantum computers to augment algorithms that pertain to industrial and applied mathematics problems. Additionally, many advances in quantum computing and quantum information science rely on mathematical areas in which SIAM members are the world’s leading practitioners. We hope that these thought-provoking articles will encourage further interaction and collaboration between quantum computing and applied mathematics researchers.

Figure 1. Ion trap devices induce the transfer of quantum information between ions to enable information processing in quantum computing. Figure courtesy of Y. Colombe/ National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In Part II of this Special Issue, Casey Dowdle and James Whitfield introduce quantum computing from a probabilistic point of view; they also comment on available software libraries and hardware for researchers who want to experiment with the field. Shawn Cui then delves into the applied mathematics techniques that enable quantum error correcting codes, which are essential for noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices. Yuri Alexeev, Ankit Kulshrestha, and Ilya Safro conclude the series with a discussion about optimization algorithms and the challenges that are associated with NISQ hardware. These brief, timely articles provide an entry point for quantum computing and highlight several state-of-the-art challenges and opportunities at the intersection of quantum information science and applied mathematics.

We encourage quantum-curious readers to also browse the relevant content in the April issue of SIAM News. As quantum computing continues to generate tremendous interest in academia, industry, and government, we look forward to future like-minded projects that connect the SIAM and quantum computing communities.

SIAM invites quantum-curious mathematical scientists to participate in the upcoming SIAM Quantum Intersections Convening – Integrating Mathematical Scientists Into Quantum Research. This three-day interactive workshop—which will take place from October 7-9, 2024 in Tysons, Va.—will unite attendees with leading experts in quantum science to promote multidisciplinary collaboration and increase the involvement of mathematicians and statisticians in quantum science research and education.

Applications for this convening are now open; the deadline to apply is June 15th.

David Hyde is an assistant professor of computer science at Vanderbilt University. His research interests include computational physics, cloud computing, computer graphics, and quantum computing.
Alex Pothen is a professor of computer science at Purdue University. His research interests include combinatorial scientific computing, graph algorithms, and parallel computing. Pothen received SIAM’s George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics in 2021 and is a Fellow of SIAM, the American Mathematical Society, and the Association for Computing Machinery. 
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