Quantum Information Processing (QIP) is a conference held each year about quantum computation and quantum information that brings out a large portion of the quantum computing community. The QIP conference started in 1998, and has continued annually. QIP 2016 marks the 19th gathering of scientists and researchers from around the world to join together and discuss various aspects of this specialized field.

Each year, QIP is held at a different location around the world. In 2016, the conference was held in scenic Banff. Below are a few pictures of the surrounding area of the conference center where QIP was held.

Keep reading for a run-down of each day’s conference sessions as experienced by Tomas.  

3 photos of the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta

Photos: Vincent Russo

The conference schedule was clearly organized in some of the prevailing themes that have seen many breakthroughs in the theoretical quantum information community! Yet each year, QIP tries to invite at least one experimentalist to talk about recent advances in quantum information outside of those seen from pen on paper. This year, the conference kicked off with two talks about experiments that were performed in the last year. The opening talk focused on the first demonstration of a loophole-free Bell test while the second discussed experimental tests of noncontextuality as well as formulating further theories of how to make such tests more robust to experimental imperfections. The remainder of Monday’s talks centered around traditional theoretical computer science cornerstones: interactive quantum proofs, interesting improvements in quantum algorithms for problems such as quantum linear systems, quantum walks, and 2-SAT as well as new query complexity separations.

Tuesday morning’s sessions began with an overview of the duality between notions of quantum gravity and quantum information which very effectively laid the foundation for many of the subsequent talks. The morning talks that followed focused on quantum error correction, topological phases of matter, and how many of the fundamental concepts in these fields relate back to the aforementioned duality. The afternoon talks featured quantum state discrimination and tomography, query complexity, and quantum-classical computational separations.

Wednesday morning was all things quantum information and Shannon theory. We began with connecting Markov chains to quantum conditional mutual information, followed with the recoverability of quantum information, and finally, we learned about the additivity of the classical/quantum regime. The early session completed with results of a more cryptographic nature in the areas of causal boxes and homomorphic encryption.

Wednesday afternoon is traditionally left as a free afternoon at QIP, where attendees can use this time to explore their surroundings, collaborate with fellow researchers, or, as was the case this year, ski! There were three excellent skiing options in the nearby surroundings, even including one which had $0.99 lift tickets at Norquay as a promotion!

For those who traveled a little farther, there was more to see at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. Check out Vincent Russo’s beautiful photo of Lake Louise below!

Lake Louise, Alberta in January 2016

The mountainous terrain provided a very nice backdrop to the QIP conference. To break up the week of the conference, there was a free afternoon, where the participants of QIP were free to go and explore the area. Some of us went to Lake Louise, approximately a 30 minute drive from the conference centre. Photo: Vincent Russo.

Thursday had an event yet to be seen at QIP: parallel sessions! This widely debated move in the community was run on a trial basis for the first time in Banff! This provided a means for conference attendees to obtain a sense of how the dynamic of the conference could shift if the conference were to move in the direction of parallel sessions. While making for difficult decisions in choosing which talk one should attend, it also potentially provided a wider range of results than would have been allowed in the traditional conference format. The choice of single track vs. parallel sessions remains an interesting open question for future QIP conferences…

Friday’s talks concluded the conference with a mix of results ranging from the power of classical-quantum computing devices to the structure of Clifford group as a 3-design by the way of quantum error correction, Hamiltonian complexity, quantum Latin squares, and many-body state preparation.

Additionally, the week included the always hilarious and entertaining rump session, some karaoke, and even some sightings of local residents:

Elk in the winter

Photos: Tomas Jochym-O'Connor

Looking forward to seeing everyone and experiencing #QIP2017 in Seattle in 2017!

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Educational programs

QKD - Quantum Key Distribution Summer School

USEQIP - Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing

QCSYS - Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students

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