Quantum Bayesian Networks

November 2, 2011

A Halloween Conference Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 1:27 pm

It all started innocently enough. I spotted in a leading blog a notice for a QUANTUM INFORMATION THEORY CONFERENCE, to be held on Oct 31. After much effort to get into the conference, I was finally there. I remember mostly the first day. It was a grueling day, in which I tried my best to absorb 8 hours of mind-numbing theory chats.

Chats about stuff with no practical application whatsoever. Chats that made a mountain out of a molehill. Long, perverse chats that used the most abstract math ever devised by man to explain stuff that could be adequately explained in seconds with simple calculus and linear algebra. Poorly motivated chats. Chats shrouded in jargon, impenetrable even by someone with a Ph.D. in physics. Chats by junior people who were blindly and enthusiastically extending the work of their senior mentors, even though the work of their mentors was lackluster and pointless to begin with.

I bravely tried that first day to absorb those 8 hours of minutiae. I so much wanted to be allowed to join their tribe. This was the price I had to pay to get in. Little did I know what kind of tribe I was trying to join…

At the end of that first day, I passed out. When I came to, I noticed that my brain had been sucked out of my skull. I was now a living dead, a zombie. I was able to attend and much enjoyed the remaining 2 days of the conference. The other conference attendees opened up to me after that. They said nice things to me, like “Let’s go and eat more brains” and “Your brain tasted good”. I was now a member of their tribe… a tribe of zombies.

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3 Comments »

  1. My condolences. Absence an actual quantum computing implementation I fear that this animation of the dead powered by ever byzantine theories is the only thing that keeps the field going.

    Comment by Henning Dekant — November 2, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  2. We do have an actual quantum computing implementation. One of them is at the Information Sciences Institute at USC and anyone can use it. In the words of Dr. Yannis Yortsos, the Dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, “It wasn’t that long ago that quantum computing was the province of intellectual wonks and theorists” (see http://dailytrojan.com/2011/10/30/usc-receives-first-quantum-computer/). The days of the chats with no practical application whatsoever in QC are coming to an end (thank all that is holy).

    Comment by Geordie — November 19, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  3. Yes, Henning and Geordie. I agree we are now entering a more practical phase in QC history, and I too welcome our new QC overlords.

    Comment by rrtucci — November 19, 2011 @ 5:11 pm


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