Golem.de quantum conference

golem conference dawn of the quantum era

June 23rd 2017

Zoo Palast Berlin

  • A hyped-up topic is taken to the test: Quantum computers, quantum networks, and quantum communication — the prefix "quantum" is a synonym for superlatives and sustainability. But what exactly is this technology all about?
  • In one intense conference day, IT decision makers and experts will learn everything that's important about the very subject that will accompany them in the years to come. Golem.de helps you gain that edge in knowledge to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Seasoned experts from renowned universities like Oxford, Waterloo, Innsbruck, Amsterdam, Geneva and Darmstadt as well as leading quantum researchers from IBM, Volkswagen and the Silicon Valley deliver facts instead of mere buzzwords.


(conference language english)
  1. 08:00 a.m.

    Doors Open
  2. 09:00 a.m.

    Opening Speech
    • Björn Böhning
      Permanent Secretary for Media
      Head of the Senate Chancellery
    • Dr. Gustav Kalbe
      High Performance Computing & Quantum Technologies
      European Commission
  3. 09:20 a.m.

    Thomas Walther
    photo©Katrin Binner
    The "quantum" in quantum information processing - so what?
    Thomas Walther - TU Darmstadt

    Quantum information processing relies on the counter-intuitive characteristics of quantum mechanics. But how did this theory appear? And why do we know it is true? What did we learn from it? How can we apply this knowledge? And how come the advent of quantum information processing took so long? These are some of the questions being addressed during this overview. The talk will briefly review the history of quantum mechanics, the lessons we learned and how this knowledge has been applied so far, e.g. the transistor and the laser. Finally, the basics of quantum information processing will be discussed to lay the groundwork for the next talks to come.


    After his graduation from the University of Munich with a Diploma in Physics, Thomas Walther moved to the University of Zurich, where he earned his PhD degree with a thesis on quantum beat spectroscopy in 1994. During the same year he joined the Department of Physics at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX as a PostDoc, where he became an Assistant Professor in 1998. In 2002 he returned to Germany as a Full Professor of Physics at TU Darmstadt. His research interests are fundamental quantum effects, quantum cryptography as well as laser spectroscopy and applications.

  4. 10:10 a.m.

    Nicolas Brunner
    What is Quantum Tele­portation and how does this translate into applications for quantum communication?
    Nicolas Brunner - University of Geneva

    Discovered in 1993, quantum teleportation is arguably among the most intriguing and fascinating effects of quantum theory. This talk will give a pedestrian introduction to the subject, in particular to the key concept of quantum entanglement. Experimental demonstrations and practical applications in quantum information processing will also be discussed.


    Nicolas Brunner obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Geneva in 2007. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Bristol, he is now Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Geneva. His research interests lie in the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum information, and quantum thermodynamics.

  5. 11:00 a.m.

    What is a quantum computer, what's the status quo and whats to come?
    Vlatko Vedral - University of Oxford

    The term computer means more than just your average Apple Mac or PC. A computer, at its most basic level, is any object that can take instructions, and perform computations based on those instructions. In this sense computation is not limited to a machine or mechanical apparatus; atomic physical phenomena or living organisms are also perfectly valid forms of computers (and in many cases far more powerful than what we can achieve through our current models).
    In my talk I will explain the basic idea behind using quantum systems to perform computation and introduce the notion of quantum bits and quantum gates as the basic elements of any quantum computation. Even though quantum computers are more powerful than any existing (classical) computers, the challenge to build them is still substantial. I will comment on the current state of the art in quantum technologies and explain what the main obstacle is to building large scale quantum computers. Fortunately, as far as we can see there are no fundamental limitations to using quantum systems to compute, and I will explain how quantum error correction can lead us to a fully fledged quantum devices in not too distant a future.


    Vlatko Vedral is Professor of Quantum Information within the Department of Physicsat the University of Oxford and Professor of Physics at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford and the Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Program on Bio-Inspired Quantum Technologies. This explores the possibility that living systems utilise quantum effects, with a view to reverse-engineering their architectures for future quantum technologies. Vlatko is best known for his research on the theory of Entanglement and Quantum Information Theory. He has published over 280 papers on quantum physics and has written three textbooks, as well as a popular science book, "Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information" (2010). Vlatko studied theoretical physics at Imperial College, London, where he also received his PhD on Quantum Information Theory of Entanglement. He won several awards, including The World Scientific (Physics Research) Medal and Prize and the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. He is currently also a Chair Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

  6. 11:50 a.m.

    Stefan Filipp
    Panel Discussion: Super-Computing versus Quantum Computing
    Stefan Filipp - IBM | David Moehring - IonQ | Heiko Schick - Huawei | Christian Seidel - Volkswagen | Will Zeng - Rigetti
    biography - Stefan Filipp

    Dr. Stefan Filipp joined IBM Research in 2014 at the Watson Research Center in New York, USA, where he worked on superconducting circuit quantum computing. In September of 2015, Stefan transferred to the IBM Research - Zurich Laboratory, where he is now a member of the Quantum Technology group within the Science & Technology department. His current research focus is on quantum information processing with superconducting circuits.

    Prior to joining IBM, Stefan was a member of the Quantum Device Lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, from 2008 to 2014, where he worked on hybrid cavity QED, geometric phases, quantum optics and quantum information processing with superconducting circuits.

    Stefan was awarded a PhD (with distinction) in Technical Physics from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria in 2006 for his dissertation entitled "New Aspects of the Quantum Geometric Phase". For his PhD thesis he received the Victor-Hess-Award from the Austrian Physical Society.

    He received his undergraduate degree (Dipl.-Ing.) in Technical Physics from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria in 2003 and a Master's of Science degree in Physics from Uppsala University, Sweden, in 2002.

    biography - David Moehring

    Dr. David Moehring is the CEO of IonQ, a venture-backed company developing world-leading general-purpose quantum information processors. Prior to IonQ, Dr. Moehring was a Senior National Intelligence Officer at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), where his high-performance computing portfolio included a global, academic and industrial effort demonstrating quantum-computing algorithms. Dr. Moehring also held positions as a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, and as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan where he pioneered the use of individual photons to couple quantum information between distant trapped ions.

    biography - Heiko Schick

    Mr. Heiko Jörg Schick received his diploma degree in Communications and Software Engineering from the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University. He joined in 2004 the IBM Research and Development laboratory in Böblingen where he held various positions as hardware and software developer, project and bring-up manager. In these positions, he led globally integrated teams to build energy-efficient supercomputers, high-performance computing and big data systems. Since 2015 he works as Chief Architect for High Performance Computing for the Advanced Computing and Industry Application Lab in the German Research Center.

    biography - Christian Seidel

    Christian Seidel holds a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. He works as a Senior Data Scientist and Senior Project Manager for the Volkswagen Data:Lab. Being part of the Volkswagen Data:Lab from its start in early 2014, he lately as well participated in the launch of a new lab within the Volkswagen Group: the Metropolis:Lab in Barcelona.

    The area of responsibility of Christian Seidel covers (amongst others):
    Quantum Computing, Natural Language Processing, Connected Car and Internet of Things

    His background includes search engine development, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    biography - Will Zeng

    Dr. Will Zeng is a quantum computer scientist and Head of Quantum Cloud Services at Rigetti Computing, a venture-backed startup building quantum computers based on superconducting integrated circuits. His work focuses on near-term applications, control software, and programming environments for quantum computing. He is a co-founder of the Forest quantum programming toolkit, holds several patents, and has published in fields across quantum hardware and software architecture. Dr. Zeng completed his PhD on the mathematical structure of quantum algorithms as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he rowed in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, and holds a BSc in Physics from Yale University. He has worked on superconducting qubits in labs at Yale and ETH Zurich.

  7. 12:40 p.m.

    Lunch break (free lunch and drinks included)
  8. 01:50 p.m.

    Tracy Northup
    photo©Diana Nöbl
    The nuts and bolts of building a quantum computer
    Tracy Northup - University of Innsbruck

    How do we assemble the hardware for a quantum computer? What is the state of the art in laboratories worldwide, and what are the challenges in moving forward? I will describe the physical implementation of quantum bits, providing a broad overview of the many systems under development (such as superconducting qubits, photons, and solid-state defects) and going into detail for the particular example of an ion trap platform.


    Tracy Northup is a Professor at the University of Innsbruck's Institute for Experimental Physics in Innsbruck, Austria. Her research uses optical cavities and trapped ions as tools to explore quantum-mechanical interactions between light and matter, with applications for future networks of quantum computers and for quantum sensors. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2008 from the California Institute of Technology. In 2016, she received the START Prize from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF); she previously held an Elise Richter fellowship from the FWF and a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship from the European Commission.

  9. 02:40 p.m.

    Ronald de Wolf
    Quantum algorithms: What they are, and what they can and cannot do
    Ronald de Wolf - QuSoft, CWI and University of Amsterdam

    Quantum computers make use of quantum-mechanical effects like superposition, interference, and entanglement. This lecture will explain how quantum algorithms work: by applying a circuit of elementary "quantum gates" on quantum bits. It will then describe some of the fast quantum algorithms that have been found, such as Shor’s algorithm for factoring large integers into their prime factors (which breaks a lot of widely used cryptography), Grover’s algorithm for searching through large databases, and the Harrow-Hassidim-Lloyd algorithm for solving well-behaved systems of linear equations. It will also discuss some known or conjectured limitations of quantum algorithms.


    Ronald de Wolf (1973) studied computer science and philosophy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, with a focus on logic-based machine learning. He obtained his PhD in 2001 from the University of Amsterdam and CWI (advised by Harry Buhrman and Paul Vitanyi) on a thesis about quantum computation and communication complexity, for which he received the 2003 ERCIM Cor Baayen Award. Subsequently he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. Currently he is a senior researcher at CWI and full professor at the University of Amsterdam. He works on quantum computing, focusing on algorithms, complexity theory, and the applications of quantum information to other areas.

  10. 03:30 p.m.

    Norbert Lütkenhaus
    Quantum Safe I: Quantum Key Distribution in Theory and Implementation
    Norbert Lütkenhaus - University of Waterloo

    The prospect of large-scale quantum computers forces us to rethink our approach to security of our communication networks already today. In the search of quantum-safe solutions, there are two solutions: classical cryptographic algorithms (post-quantum cryptography) and quantum-based solutions (quantum key distribution [QKD]). QKD protocols provides information-theoretic secure key for two parties using basic principles of quantum mechanics, which means that the security features of this solution does not depend on future technological developments that could play into the hands of an adversary. I will outline the security principles and claims of the protocols, and will also address the performance and security claim of today's implementations.


    Norbert Lütkenhaus is Professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and a member of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and an affiliate member of the Perimeter Institute. He is working in the overlap area of Quantum Communication Theory and Quantum Optics, reaching from fundamental abstract questions to applications. He is well known for bringing theory and practise of quantum communication protocols together, thus enabling emerging quantum technology to become practical. His core expertise is in the area of Quantum Key Distribution where he is a thought leader in the security evaluation, protocol development, application and standardization/certification. He is co-chair of the ETSI Industry Specification Group for QKD. The scientific career included stages in Glasgow, Innsbruck, Helsinki and Erlangen (Emmy Noether Research Group) before moving to Waterloo. His career also includes industrial elements, such as a position with MagiQ Technologies to develop the first commercial Quantum Key Distribution device. He is also co-founder and CTO of evolutionQ, a company centered around services and products in quantum-safe technologies.

  11. 04:20 p.m.

    Eike Kiltz
    photo©RUB, Nelle
    Quantum Safe II: Post­quantum Crypto
    Eike Kiltz - Ruhr-University Bochum

    With the advent of large-scale quantum computers, all current public-key cryptography used in the internet (based on RSA and Elliptic Curves) will be rendered insecure. In this talk I will discuss new approaches to build the next generation of cryptographic protocols that are believed to be secure against attackers equipped with a quantum computer. Cryptography from a mathematical object called "lattices" seems to be among the most promising candidates to withstand quantum attacks. All considered cryptographic protocols are purely classical and do not require quantum computation.


    Eike Kiltz is Professor of Mathematics at the Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany, and a member of the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security. He is working on the mathematical foundations of modern cryptography and IT security which include designing and analyzing new cryptographic protocols that are secure against quantum computers. His scientific career included stages in Aarhus, Barcelona, San Diego, Amsterdam, Lausanne, and Paris, before moving back to Bochum in 2010. In 2010 he was also awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and in 2013 he received the ERC Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council.

  12. 05:10 p.m.

    Final Panel & Q/A with all Speakers
  13. 07:00 p.m.

    End of Event


The conference has ended.




  • Zoo Palast Fassade
    photo©Jan Bitter Fotografie
  • Zoo Palast Saal


Zoo Palast

Hardenbergstr. 29 a
10623 Berlin

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