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Berkeley Lab Researchers Honored with Best Paper Award at QCE22

September 28, 2022


Last week, three researchers from Berkeley Lab’s Quantum Algorithms Group – Wim Lavrijsen, Costin Iancu, and Wibe de Jong – and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Julianne Mueller (formerly a Berkeley Lab staff scientist) were honored with a Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering (QCE22) for “Accelerating Noisy VQE Optimization with Gaussian Processes.”

We are in the era of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices, where quantum computers with 50-100 qubits may perform tasks that surpass the capabilities of conventional computers, but “noise” surrounding the qubits limits the size of scientific problems that can be reliably executed. This “noise” can come from control electronics, heat, or impurities in the quantum computing hardware, which can cause computing errors that are difficult to detect.

In this era of NISQ, researchers need to develop creative solutions to solve real-world problems on these devices. For some problems in computational chemistry, hybrid variational quantum algorithms – like the variational quantum eigensolver (VQE) – that run partly on a classical computer and partly on a quantum system are one such solution. In this paper, the Berkeley Lab team introduced a robust Gaussian Process algorithm that allows researchers to efficiently and effectively identify good solutions for VQE in the presence of quantum noise. 

“This is the third year in a row that Berkeley Lab researchers have been awarded the best paper award at QCE. It shows that we are pushing the state-of-the-art in quantum software and algorithms forward,” said de Jong, who heads Berkeley Lab’s Computational Science Department and serves as the team director of the Accelerated Research for Quantum Computing (ARQC) Team AIDE-QC.

The U.S. Department of Energy supported this work through the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research Quantum Algorithms Team and Accelerated Research in Quantum Computing programs.

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About Berkeley Lab

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 16 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit