March 25, 2018

Computer Science Professor Wins $10 Million NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a $10 million grant to computer science Professor Frederic Chong for his research project on quantum computing. The grant will be provided over five years.

According to its website, the NSF awarded three $10 million awards for “expeditions” into computer science, information science and engineering. Along with Chong, professor Ion Stoica at the University of California, Berkeley, and professor Ashutosh Sabharwal at Rice University also received awards.

Chong’s research area aims to utilize quantum physics principles to carry out complex computations to help speed up complex calculations in a wide variety of subject areas.

While large corporations like IBM and Intel have made advancements and unveiled designs for quantum computing prototypes, there is a gap between the prototypes in use and the algorithms needed to make full use of them, according to Chong.

Chong’s NSF-funded project—called “Enabling Practical-Scale Quantum Computing”—hopes to bridge this gap by co-designing both the hardware and algorithms needed to optimize the quantum machines and advance the field.

Chong’s team is also partnering with the University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Techology, Princeton University, Duke University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

In an interview with UChicago News, Chong said that “what we aim to do is to make quantum algorithms and machines meet, in a useful way, 10 or more years earlier than they would otherwise.”

Correction on April 5, 2018, 6:02 p.m. CDT:

A previous version of the article misstated the universities partnered with Chong's research team and mischaracterized the computations mentioned as "large scale."