Michael Freedman, Microsoft Station Q
What is quantum computing and why will topology help?
Friday, September 16, 2011
Simons Center Main Auditorium
Abstract: We are learning how to move information processing from the classical to the quantum realm. To complete this transition we will need a way to do certain operations with unprecedented accuracy. Topology will be an essential ingredient.
Michael Freedman is Director of Station Q, Microsoft’s Project on quantum physics and quantum computation located on the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus. The project is a collaborative effort between Microsoft and academia directed towards exploring the mathematical theory and physical foundations for quantum computing.
Freedman joined Microsoft in 1997. Before that he was a Professor of Mathematics at UC San Diego. Mike was awarded the Fields Medal for his work on 4-dimensional topology, which included a proof of the 4-dimensional Poincare conjecture, the discovery (with Donaldson and Kirby) of exotic smooth structures on Euclidian 4-space. His other work includes applications of minimal surfaces to topology,and estimates for the stored energy in magnetic fields. In addition to the Fields Medal, Freedman has received numerous awards and honors: election to the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Veblen prize in Geometry and Topology awarded by the AMS, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the National Medal of Science. His work since joining Microsoft has been primarily on the interface of quantum computation, solid state physics, and quantum topology.