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Purdue University Announces AI and Quantum Information Science Research Institutes across the US

Supported by the White House Office, Purdue University will establish 12 new AI and QIS research centers to develop critical emerging technologies.

In the last few years, Artificial Intelligence research has gained massive funding and investments from private and public sector organizations. AI, together with other emerging technologies such as Quantum Computing, Deep Learning, Blockchain and Fintech, has earned substantial support from the United States of America government. In a recent announcement, Purdue University has announced it is developing 12 new AI and Quantum Information Science (QIS) research institutes. These research centers will be supported through a broad effort announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). The centers will grant more than $1 billion in awards for the establishment of the new AI-QIS research institutes nationwide.

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What is Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute (PQSEI)?

Purdue is the leading university partner in the Quantum Science Center and already has major research efforts in topological quantum materials, quantum algorithms and quantum sensing.

The Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute is located in Discovery Park. PQSEI fosters the development of practical and impactful aspects of quantum science and focuses on discovering and studying new materials and basic physical quantum systems that will be suited for integration into tomorrow’s technology. It encourages interdisciplinary collaboration leading to the design and realization of industry-friendly quantum devices with enhanced functionality and performance close to the fundamental limits. PQSEI lays out strategies for the design of systems based on these devices in order to bring these new levels of functionality and performance to a vast community of users.

At the time of this announcement, Theresa Mayer, Purdue’s executive vice president for research and partnerships, said –

“Quantum science and engineering have the potential to revolutionize the way our society lives and works. We are honored that Purdue’s experts in the field will join in this collaborative effort to solve grand challenges for our country and world.”

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Purdue’s AI-QIS Research Center Headquarter at ORNL

Purdue has confirmed that it will participate through the Quantum Science Center. The new AI-QIS effort will be directed from the HQ at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). It is worth noting that the funding for the Oak Ridge-led Quantum Science Center is $115 million over five years. The additional $1 Billion funding will completely focus on developing the White House and NSF-led AI research institutes and DOE quantum information science research centers until 2026. The joint effort would be establishing 12 multidisciplinary and multi-institutional national hubs for research and workforce development in these critical emerging technologies, including in Quantum Computing and other related specializations.

In the past, DoE announced $625 million for quantum science research. The latest $1 Billion funding includes this DoE sum.  

In addition to Oak Ridge, four additional quantum science research centers will also be established at the energy department’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Fermi and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories.

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Role of Purdue Quantum Science Center in 2020

Purdue’s participation in the effort will be led by Yong Chen, Purdue’s Karl Lark-Horovitz Professor of Physics and Astronomy, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the University’s Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute (PQSEI), which resides in Purdue’s Discovery Park. Chen also will serve on the center’s Governance Advisory Board.

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Alexandra Boltasseva, Purdue’s Ron and Dotty Garvin Tonjes Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will lead the workforce development efforts of the QSC and will serve as a member of the QSC leadership team.

Alexandra Boltasseva says, “The current quantum workforce is significantly underdeveloped and shorthanded. The center will engage students and postdoctoral associates in research activities, and cultivate the necessary expertise to ensure the United States leads the quantum revolution.”

In addition to Chen and Boltasseva, PQSEI faculty members participating in the effort are:

  • Arnab Banerjee, assistant professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Sunil Bhave, professor of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Shawn Cui, assistant professor of mathematics and of physics and astronomy,
  • Sabre Kais, professor of chemical physics.
  • Rafael Lang, associate professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Alex Ma, assistant professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Michael Manfra, distinguished professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Leonid Rokhinson, professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Vladimir Shalaev, the Robert (Bob) and Anne Burnett Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who will lead the center’s sensors for quantum materials specific aim within the quantum devices and sensing thrust.
  • Pramey Upadhyaya, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Qi Zhou, associate professor of physics and astronomy.

Other Participating Universities in Purdue Quantum Science Efforts

In addition to Purdue, other participating universities include the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Maryland; Harvard University; the University of Washington; the California Institute of Technology; the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; and Princeton University.

The center also includes additional national lab partners Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fermi National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Industry partners in the center include ColdQuanta, IBM and Microsoft. Michael Manfra said, “Microsoft is already collaborating extensively with us through Microsoft Quantum Purdue, with Microsoft employees working onsite at Purdue. This new quantum center only strengthens the collaborative ties between Purdue and Microsoft.”

Currently ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all.

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