QC40: Physics of Computation Conference
40th Anniversary

QC40 is a one-day virtual event that will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Physics of Computation Conference which was jointly organized by MIT and IBM, and held at the MIT Endicott House in 1981.

The conference was a defining moment in the history of quantum computation. At QC40, we will take a close look at the changes in quantum computing over the past 40 years, with a panel discussion and keynote addresses by attendees from the original conference and pioneers in the field of quantum computing.

The day will also feature academic talks highlighting recent work in quantum information science (more details under “What is QC40?”). The top outstanding talk submissions will be recognized with up to $5,000 grants as a way to contribute to future research.


What you will find at QC40

Keynotes from renowned 1981 attendees 
Listen to what some of the 1981 key attendees have to say about the original conference and what the state of the field was like 40 years ago.
Contributed talks: The latest in quantum information science 
The afternoon will be packed with a wide range of talks illustrating current research and new developments across the field of quantum information science.

  • Aram Harrow from MIT will chair the track dedicated to Theory and Applications.
  • Sarah Sheldon from IBM will chair the track dedicated to Hardware and Experiment.
The Future of Quantum Hardware
Jerry Chow, Director of Quantum Hardware System Development at IBM Quantum, will discuss the engineering challenges that the quantum computing field must tackle across the stack, what it takes to make quantum computing a practical reality, and IBM’s roadmap to accomplish these goals in the next decade.
A panel of experts: Then and Now
Watch a lively discussion between recognized scientists who will bridge the gap between the past and the future of quantum information science and computation.

Panelists include:
  • Dorit Aharonov (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Isaac Chuang (MIT)
  • Umesh Vazirani (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Will Oliver (MIT)
  • Zaira Nazario (IBM)

Morning Session

Time (EDT)Event
08:30 AMAn introduction from Olivia Lanes PhD, experimental researcher and education developer at IBM and Charlie Bennett, physicist, information theorist and IBM Fellow at IBM Research.
08:45 AMA series of keynote addresses about quantum information science in the 1980s
  • 1981 and The Beginnings of Quantum Information (Charlie Bennett - IBM)
  • The Development of Quantum Algorithms and Error Correction (Peter Shor - MIT)
  • A Brief History of Superconducting Qubits (Steve Girvin - Yale University)
10:30 AMBreak
10:40 AMA live panel that will bridge Then and Now. Featuring:
  • Dorit Aharonov (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Isaac Chuang (MIT)
  • Umesh Vazirani (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Will Oliver (MIT)
  • Zaira Nazario (IBM)
11:40 AMThe Future of Quantum Hardware (Jerry Chow - IBM)
12:10 PMIBM Quantum Leadership remarks
12:15 PMClosing remarks and lunch break
Follow this session on YouTube (no registration needed)

Afternoon Session

Time (EDT)Event
01:30 PMIntroduction to Track 1 – Contributed Talks on Hardware and Experiment (Sarah Sheldon - IBM)
01:55 PMIntroduction to Track 2 – Contributed Talks on Theory and Applications (Aram Harrow - MIT)
02:20 PMTwo parallel tracks (9 contributed talks each). See details below *
05:30 PMNetworking lounges
Register here to attend the afternoon session

* Parallel tracks (times listed are approximate and subject to change)

Time (EDT)Track 1 - Quantum Hardware / ExperimentTrack 2 - Quantum Software / Theory / Applications
02:20 PMDemonstration of natural iSWAP gate on fixed-frequency transmon qubits
(Kentaro Heya - University of Tokyo / IBM Japan)
The impossibility of Landauer's bound for almost every quantum state
(Paul Riechers - Nanyang Technological University)
02:40 PMExploring multi-programming for quantum algorithms
(Siyuan Niu - University of Montpellier)
How to learn a quantum state - a.k.a. Private learning implies quantum stability
(Yihui Quek - Stanford University)
03:00 PMTowards a non-local Bell test with superconducting circuits
(Paul Magnard - ETH Zurich/QuDev lab)
Compiler design for distributed quantum computing
(Davide Ferrari - University of Parma)
03:20 PMDeterministic generation and manipulation of entangled microwave photonic qubits
(Jean-Claude Besse - ETH Zurich/QuDev lab)
Hardware efficient search on IBM Q. Non-Abelian quantum search reduces noise.
(Vladimir Korepin and Kun Zhang - Stony Brook University)
03:40 PMBifluxon: Fluxon-parity-protected superconducting qubit
(Konstantin Kalashnikov - Rutgers University)
An optimal quantum sampling regression algorithm for variational eigensolving in the low qubit number regime
(Pedro Rivero - Argonne National Laboratory / Illinois Institute of Technology)
04:00 PM5-minute break5-minute break
04:05 PMMillimeter-wave photons in cavity-QED systems with Rydberg atoms
(Aziza Suleymanzade - University of Chicago)
Strongly universal Hamiltonian simulators
(Leo Zhou - Harvard University)
04:25 PMA modular quantum computer based on 3-wave mixing
(Pinlei Lu - University of Pittsburgh)
New properties of interacting quantum systems with algorithmic applications
(Mehdi Soleimanifar - MIT)
04:45 PMEfficient and low-backaction quantum measurement using a chip-scale detector
(Eric Rosenthal - JILA and the University of Colorado, Boulder)
A unified framework for machine learning using physical systems across classical-to-quantum transition
(Saeed Khan - Princeton University)
05:05 PMQuantum Simulation using Superconducting Quantum Processors
(Amir Karamlou - MIT)
Fundamental physical capabilities and limitations in communication and computing
(Lev B. Levitin - Boston University)
05:25 PMClosing remarksClosing remarks

Take action now

Morning session

Click on the link below to listen to keynotes, historical commentaries, and live panel discussion on the Qiskit YouTube channel, starting at 8:30 AM EDT (no registration needed).

Afternoon session

Click on the link below to join us on the ON24 platform at 01:30 PM EDT and listen to 2 tracks of contributed talks about hardware, experiment, theory and applications (registration required).

Code of conduct

We are dedicated to providing an enjoyable and safe experience for all participants. We have a code of conduct that all events adhere to.