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ORNL’s Humble Tapped to Lead New ACM Quantum Computing Journal

ORNL's Travis Humble, of the laboratory's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, was selected as co-Editor-In-Chief of ACM Transactions on Quantum Computing.

ORNL Distinguished Scientist Travis Humble has been named as the co-Editor-In-Chief of a new quantum computing journal published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Humble will co-edit the new journal, titled ACM Transactions on Quantum Computing, with colleague Mingsheng Ying of University of Technology Sydney.

The journal focuses on the theory and practice of quantum computing, a new discipline that applies the principles of quantum mechanics to computation and has enormous potential for innovation across the scientific spectrum. Quantum computers use units known as qubits to greatly increase the threshold at which information can be transmitted and processed. Whereas traditional “bits” have a value of either 0 or 1, qubits are encoded with values of both 0 and 1, or any combination thereof, at the same time, allowing for a vast number of possibilities for storing data.

This novel approach to computing is expected to produce systems exponentially more powerful than today’s leading classical computing systems. This potential is underscored by the recent demonstration of a quantum processor exceeding the simulation power of ORNL’s Summit supercomputer, the fastest and smartest in the world, when running a benchmark known as random circuit sampling.

The simulations took 200 seconds on the 53-qubit quantum computer, which was built by Google and dubbed Sycamore; after running the same simulations on Summit the team extrapolated that the calculations would have taken the world’s most powerful system more than 10,000 years to complete with current state-of-the-art algorithms, providing experimental evidence of quantum supremacy and critical information for the design of future quantum computers. “I am excited by the potential for quantum computers to provide new capabilities for scientific exploration and understanding.  The new journal from ACM provides an important forum to discuss how advances in quantum computer science can accelerate the development and application of this exciting technology,” said Humble.

Transactions on Quantum Computing will publish its first issue in 2020. According to ACM:

     "The journal focuses on the theory and practice of quantum computing including but not limited to: models of quantum computing, quantum algorithms and complexity, quantum computing architecture, principles and methods of fault-tolerant quantum computation, design automation for quantum computing, quantum programming languages and systems, distributed quantum computing, quantum networking, issues related to quantum hardware and NISQ implementation  quantum security and privacy, and applications (e.g. in machine learning and AI) of quantum computing."

Humble serves as the Director of ORNL’s Quantum Computing Institute (QCI), which currently hosts a concerted effort to harness theory, computation, and experiment to test the capabilities of emerging quantum computing technologies, which can then be applied to the modeling and simulation of complex physical processes. This requires a multidisciplinary team of computer scientists, physicists, and engineers working in concert to advance the field.

The Lab’s quantum computing effort is leveraging partnerships with academia, industry, and government to accelerate the understanding of how near-term quantum computing resources might benefit early applications. And in partnership with the laboratory’s National Center for Computational Sciences, QCI’s Quantum Computing User Program provides early access to existing, commercial quantum computing systems while supporting the development of future quantum programmers through educational outreach and internship programs.

Humble received his doctorate in theoretical chemistry from the University of Oregon before coming to ORNL in 2005. Dr. Humble leads the Quantum Computing Team in the Quantum Information Science Group. He is also an associate professor with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee and an Associate Editor for the Quantum Information Processing journal.

Information about submissions and other aspects of the journal can be found on the journal's new website: https://tqc.acm.org.