Special Onr Muri Presentation - Ryan Hamerly

    Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 9:00am - 10:00am
    Franken Conference Room (Meinel 821)

    Optical Annealing with Coupled Parametric Oscillators


    We have recently built an optical "Ising machine," based on a network of optical parametric oscillators, that is designed to solve for ground states of Ising problems up to size N=2,000 with all-to-all connectivity.  The computational principle, which combines elements of adiabatic quantum computing and multimode laser theory, is fundamentally different from both quantum annealing and classical heuristics, and provides a new method to search for solutions to NP-hard problems.  I will highlight our recent experimental results and proposed applications for this machine, and also discuss a performance comparison between our Ising machine and the D-Wave quantum annealer that highlights the importance of dense connectivity in solving complex problems: while the quantum annealer outperforms the Ising machine for very sparse (e.g., cubic) graphs, we find that the Ising machine gives significantly better solutions for dense graphs.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Ryan had many interests when he was young, but when he saw Tesla coil in action at high school, he knew he wanted to become a physicist. He taught himself electromagnetism to build his own Tesla coil, but during his studies at Caltech, he veered off into particle physics and general relativity. In graduate school at Stanford (Mabuchi group), he returned to electromagnetism, pursuing research on quantum feedback control, quantum optics, and nonlinear optics. After graduating, he spent a gap year working at NII in Tokyo (Yamamoto group) on many of the same topics, and will be starting as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT (Englund group) this fall.