Pakistani-American Scientist Irfan Siddiqi is Top Expert in Quantum Computing

Karachi-born Pakistani-American Dr. Irfan Siddiqi is the head of Lawrence Livermore Quantum Computing Lab at the University of California at Berkeley.  He's also one of the architects of the United States Quantum Initiative backed by industry, academia and the federal government.

Silicon Valley Diversity:

Dr. Siddiqi was recently featured on Silicon Valley-based NBC Press Here TV hosted by Scott McGrew. Others who made an appearance in the same show were Krishna Motukuri and Kevin Guo. Motukori is Indian-American founder of Zippin which is pushing automated checkout technology that will obviate the need for buyers to stand in line to pay. Amazon is already using this technology at Amazon Go stores. Kevin Guo is Chinese-American founder of AI startup Hive. This show was a good representation of Silicon Valley's diversity with many immigrant techies at its center. In fact, minorities are now majority is Silicon Valley.

Dr. Siddiqi's Background:

Dr. Siddiqi was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He came to the United States in his teen years with his family and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY. Then he got his bachelor's degree from Harvard and Ph.D. at Yale where he worked on superconducting qubits, also written as q-bits. Dr. Siddiqi has been teaching at UC Berkeley since 2006.

Dr. Irfan Siddiqi

Quantum Computing:

In quantum computing, a qubit or quantum bit is the basic unit of quantum information—the quantum version of the classical binary bit physically realized with a two-state device. Here's how Dr. Siddiqui explained quantum computing in an interview with Design News:

"For me, any quantum technology, including quantum computing, is something that takes advantage of entanglement. And entanglement is the idea that if you have different pieces of matter and you put them together, they behave as a single unit. So, for example, each of the bits in a classical computer are independent of each other. If you flip one, it doesn't affect the one next to it. In a quantum computers all of these bits have correlation with each other so they're all tied together like one big mass. In fact, the number of states that they can occupy is exponentially larger because of these linkages between neighboring elements. Quantum computing is the science of manipulating this entangled set of bits for some particular problem of interest in either fundamental science and computation or to do a simulation of the natural world."


Quantum Computing Applications:

Top American tech companies are racing to build a new generation of powerful quantum computers backed by $1.3 billion commitment from US Congress to help them compete with the Chinese. Advanced quantum computing power will likely have many defense and intelligence applications like decrypting computer coded messages. Potential civilian applications include new drug discovery and artificial intelligence.

Summary:

Dr. Irfan Siddiqui is a Karachi-born Pakistani-American scientist engaged in leading edge research in quantum computing. He's part of the increasingly diverse technology workforce of Silicon Valley, California where immigrants  from  many emerging economies such as India, Pakistan and China are helping define the future.

Here's a video of Dr. Irfan Siddiqi speaking on quantum computing:

https://youtu.be/4dfoCf-noHE

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Comment by Riaz Haq on February 28, 2020 at 7:56pm

Eric Schmdt: Computer science in 1970s & ’80s funded by US Government. #Trump now proposing to double funding for #AI and quantum computing for #NationalSecurity. Need to up #biotechnology funding. #Americans Beware of #China Getting Ahead in #technology https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/opinion/eric-schmidt-ai-china.html

Many of Silicon Valley’s leaders got their start with grants from the federal government — including me. My graduate work in computer science in the 1970s and ’80s was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

But in recent years, Americans — Silicon Valley leaders included — have put too much faith in the private sector to ensure U.S. global leadership in new technology. Now we are in a technology competition with China that has profound ramifications for our economy and defense — a reality I have come to appreciate as chairman of two government panels on innovation and national security. The government needs to get back in the game in a serious way.

Important trends are not in our favor. America’s lead in artificial intelligence, for example, is precarious. A.I. will open new frontiers in everything from biotechnology to banking, and it is also a Defense Department priority. Leading the world in A.I. is essential to growing our economy and protecting our security. A recent study considering more than 100 metrics finds that the United States is well ahead of China today but will fall behind in five to 10 years. China also has almost twice as many supercomputers and about 15 times as many deployed 5G base stations as the United States. If current trends continue, China’s overall investments in research and development are expected to surpass those of the United States within 10 years, around the same time its economy is projected to become larger than ours.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 29, 2023 at 5:19pm

Irfan Siddiqi Announced as Next Chair of Berkeley Physics | Physics


https://physics.berkeley.edu/news/irfan-siddiqi-announced-next-chai...

Berkeley Physics is pleased to announce Irfan Siddiqi as the next Chair of the Department, effective July 1, 2023.

Irfan joined the Berkeley Physics faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2006 and is currently a Professor of Physics, Professor of EECS, and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). He has been an active member of the faculty, serving as department summer chair from 2014-2018 and Vice Chair from Spring 2017-Summer 2018. In 2016 he received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award, a prestigious honor for teaching and continued commitment to pedagogy. A trailblazer on the forefront of quantum physics, Irfan is Director of the Advanced Quantum Testbed, and was the founding director of the Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA) at LBNL, which brings together dozens of scientists who are pioneers of many of today’s quantum capabilities.

Irfan is already hard at work assembling a strong faculty and staff leadership team to structure his vision for the department. We're certain that under Irfan’s leadership the Department will continue to thrive, and the Berkeley Physics community looks forward to working with him as he settles into his role as chair.

We cannot move forward without acknowledging the many successes of the outgoing Chair, James Analytis. During his 3 year term as Department Chair James served as an exceptional leader, navigating the challenges brought on by the pandemic and helping us stay connected at a time we were apart. Under James' leadership several wonderful new faculty members have joined the department, and the Pi2 Summer Scholar Program he leads has continued to grow, bringing valuable hands-on lab experience to our undergraduate students. James was responsible for creating a more equitable and inclusive community by collaborating with faculty, students, and staff to establish community principles in our department, and has spurred activity that will help generations of Berkeley physicists.

We thank James for his service to this department and welcome Irfan into his new role.

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