## Quantum Information Processing (QIP) Conference

The ongoing conference on quantum information is quite big. The conference promises to have the presence of notable physicists, including the Nobel-laureate David Wineland. For more information about the conference, check out their website http://www.quantum-lab.org/qip2015/index.php.

The conference kicked start today 10/01/2015 with a 2 days tutorial session before the mainstream talks.

I will post updates of the main talks soon.

12/01/2015 – First Day:

I will give a very sketchy summary of today’s talks.

The conference started today with an opening speech from the director of the Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems(QCIS) at the University of Technology Sydney(UTS). He thanked the organizers and sponsors for their contributions to the success of the programme and the funds which were made available for international students. Among those sponsors are Institute of Quantum Computing(IQC), Journal of Mathematical Physics, Macquarie University, University of Sydney, UTS, University of Queensland and many more.

This was followed by a plenary talk by Ran Raz on “how to delegate quantum computation”. You can view the abstract that talk.

The next speaker on the main talks was Montanaro on “Pattern matching algorithm”. Suppose we are asked to find a certain pattern P in a text T. For example, suppose P=ANT and T=QUANTUM. We want to understand the computational complexity of the algorithm that can identify the pattern(i.e. finding the pattern or its index) in the given text. Can we find efficient quantum algorithm that outperforms the classical one? The speaker showed the analysis and results of this problem and also showed that the problem can be considered in higher dimensions and he further generalized it to find any pattern of bits and not only text. The arxiv address is arXiv:1408.1816.

The next was by Ryan O’Donnell on “Quantum Spectrum Testing” which can simply be described as say given n copies of a mixed state $\rho^{\mathbb(C)\times \mathbb(C)}$, and the goal is to determine whether $\rho$ satisfy some property $\mathcal{P}$ or not and if not, then how far is $\rho$ from those properties.

In fact, there were  lots of other talks. It would be difficult to give a complete overview of them all.

It is already late into the night and I have to hit my bed now as my eye hitches me and my body needs some rest. I will hopefully be able to write better tomorrow. :).

P.S: Sorry if those maths expression does not render nice as I haven’t fix latex to be working with my blog.

## Are You Spending Your Days and Wasting Your Precious Time Doing Pseudo-Work?

The methods described here can be helpful to someone working to complete a project or projects.

“He’s not doing work…he’s doing the pretense of work.” This was the comment made by a visiting consultant after observing a then colleague of mine. The guy under scrutiny always looked busy, talked a good talk but accomplished very little. Pseudo-work – the illusion of actual work; to the untrained eye it looks as if you’re actually doing work…but you’re not. Yes, you are busy every second of the day – but what are you actually accomplishing?

As the year draws to a close, it’s as good a time as any for reflection. Perhaps you’re already mulling over the fact that you didn’t get to all the things you’d hoped to accomplish for 2014. You might have gotten a few things off your project list but I’m guessing that you’re still carrying a few of them with you.

Two questions I would like you to consider here:

1. Can I still…

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## How can you treat your PhD like a project?

The article above explains some key vital ways to proceed with a PhD research by “drifting” gradually to a successful end. The methods mentioned are general and very much applies to ways to successfully carry out every other project in life.

Well, in addition to the article, the success of any research study depends on the knowledge of the researcher. Most research are birth when a reader stumbles upon a very intricate and delicate idea that calls for a deeper understanding. You don’t get research problems by daydreaming while taking a  nap. You identify a problem by reading from the works of others, as they also do with your own written works. Yes! that’s exactly how science has a particular direction at a time. Things are not done randomly, it is a global community of problem solvers and your work is only of relevance to most others if it answers impending questions.

The next step is how you manage the problem. You can achieve this by first dissecting it and doing something like “reverse understanding” of the problem. This just means, you identify a “big problem”, then you go backwards on knowing even simpler cases of the problem. Often you might find that you do not even know enough of the simpler problem(except if the problem is a trivial one), then you reduce the simpler problem even further. Repeat this until you identify the irreducible minimum of the problem and then gradually work your way forward in the solution. This has been my own PhD experience so far.

In my opinion, the final attribute a researcher needs to have is perseverance and focus. There will be times when you get lost and confounded on the problem. Just take a break and come back to look at it again. Also, don’t get lost, keep your focus. Solve one problem(or a few related ones) at a time. Don’t try a problem in Cosmology today and tomorrow in Statistical Mechanics. Keep your focus per time. And finally, write legibly and document your solutions. You may publish them in peer-reviewed journals or keep them for records.

Have fun researching. 🙂

## Benasque, Spain

Benasque is such a beautiful place. Anyone who has ever been there must admit this fact. It is an extended mountainous region in Spain. It is about a 4 hours drive by car from Barcelona. Though there is really not much to see in Benasque except for the mountains, streams and a few other scenery. Notwithstanding it has managed to attract both local and international visitors for tourism and other activities. This is partly due to a number of short scientific schools held at the Centro de Ciencias, Pedro Pascual year round, which I participated in one this year.