QIP 2010 – Further thoughts and CAKE!

So I’m back from QIP now, and full of chocolate. One might say I am maximally satisfied. However I didn’t have time to post this final update so I’ll do it now.

I really enjoyed 2 talks on Thursday afternoon session. The first was by Roderich Moessner and the second by Julia Kempe. They were entitled:

“Random quantum satisfiability: statistical mechanics of disordered quantum optimization” and “A quantum Lovasz Local Lemma” respectively.

I enjoyed these talks because they weren’t completely theoretically based, even though the titles made them sound like they might have been. In particular, I liked the way that random, average and typical instances were considered.

The bounds of ‘hardness’ (going from always satisfiable (easy) to possibly satisfiable (hard) to unsatisfiable (easy)) as you increase the number of clauses compared to the number of variables in a SAT problem were explored, and what kind of phase transitions occur throughout this process. Entanglement can help make some of the possibly satisfiable ones easier, so effectively utilising quantum mechanics allows you to tighten the boundaries of the ‘region of hardness’.

One final thought that I had about the conference was that I think that QIP people need to think about Physics a bit more. Physics seems to underlie all these processes and ties them to the real world in some way. I found that quite a few people were advocating the point of view that Computer Science underlies Physics, but I believe this to be the wrong way of looking at the problem. Physics is all we are given really, it is fruitful to remember this and perhaps just considering it once in a while might help keep you a little more grounded in reality.

Anyway, enough Physics, lets talk about cake. So I mentioned in a previous post about this cake shop I found in Zurich called Cakefriends. Well now I have pictures.

The cake that I chose was a heterostructure of deliciously thick cream (almost cheesecake thick) with interstitial poppy seed sponge layers. To complete the unit cell there was some raspberry sauce around the outside of each sponge layers. It was served in a glass:

Here is a picture of me enjoying said cake. And yes, there were Physics discussions throughout the cakey experience, which should always be the case.

And a photo from the Cakefriends menu:

Yes. Yes we do.

Also thanks to this conference I finally understand the meaning of the complexity class qpoly. Thanks QIP for clearing this one up for me.


4 thoughts on “QIP 2010 – Further thoughts and CAKE!

  1. 8-0-8 says:

    Sounds awesome 😀 though I can only pretend that the bits about hardness and quantum satisfiability didn’t fly over my head ^_^’ haha.
    Though I find it rather awesome the way you dissected the structure of the cake 😀 I’ve never seen someone else give so much thought into it. Poppy seed looks like a great choice btw!

  2. quantummoxie says:

    Well, I finally found Liechtenstein and that’s about the most exciting thing there is to say about it (well, the Rhine valley is gorgeous). And I took a run up into the mountains which was an awesome – and slightly stress-inducing – drive up a road that is sometimes closed due to weather. Oddly, way up at the top was a llama farm.

    And, though that Mercedes we had on Wednesday was nice, the much cheaper Mazda I had on Friday was actually a much more fun car to drive.

    Good luck with the future stuff (is it public yet?)! And you’re absolutely right about physicists vs. computer scientists. I fail to see how even a computer scientist wouldn’t see physics as underlying everything. That’s the whole point of physics. It’s based on empirical evidence.

    • 8-0-8 says:

      I’m not sure (lacking the proper math skills or knowledge of either physics or computer science) but I think their idea is that perhaps the universe operates much like a computer, so much like that by investigating computer science it may lead to answer other things about the universe, kind of like a universal source code (or something).

      I’m probably way wrong though, haha xD

  3. Paul B. says:

    Hey, Suz!

    Since you are the first person to mention the word “heterostructure” in the context of cakes (at least that I know of! well, google thinks that you are the second, but the first one is mentioning cakes in context of heterostructures 🙂 ), here is a link for you, to “eat your heart out!”: http://www.trueconfections.ca/

    Wink, wink!

    Paul B.

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