Exploring the Limits of the Efficiently Computable
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I'll give a broad overview of my research over the last decade aimed at understanding the relationship between computational complexity and physics — and in particular, the capabilities and limitations of quantum computers. Possible topics, depending on time, will include the BosonSampling model of quantum computing, creating unforgeable 'quantum money' using hidden subspaces, quantum computing versus the polynomial-time hierarchy, maximal separations between classical and quantum query complexity, the need for structure in quantum speedups, and the computational complexity of decoding Hawking radiation.
Scott Aaronson is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He studied at Cornell and UC Berkeley, and did postdocs at the Institute for Advanced Study as well as the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and more generally on computational complexity and its relationship to physics. His first book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. Aaronson has written about quantum computing for Scientific American and the New York Times, and writes a popular blog. He's received the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman Award, the United States PECASE Award, and MIT's Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching.