Zapata  
September 2, 2020

Zapata Computing, the leading enterprise software company for NISQ-based quantum applications, today announced its newly formed Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB’s mission is to establish a stronger connection between the community of scientists focused on quantum computing, a community in which Zapata is actively involved, and the broader business community.

“Classical computer science was founded on decades of collaboration between universities, industry and various governmental institutions,” said Yudong Cao, CTO and co-founder, Zapata Computing. “This collaboration provided fertile ground for the computer industry to grow and advance. Quantum computing requires the same level of nurturing and support. Our goal for the Scientific Advisory Board is to develop the community connections that will allow this industry to flourish.”

Although the world has recently witnessed significant milestones in quantum computing, from Google’s achievement of quantum supremacy to the creation of ever more powerful quantum hardware by IBM and Honeywell, the quantum computing community is still far from mature. A tremendous amount of scientific research is still needed to master the complexity of quantum computers and ensure that they can practically address real business problems. This will call for continuous dialogue between the scientific and business communities. By establishing a Scientific Advisory Board, Zapata seeks to facilitate this dialogue while demonstrating its deep commitment to every aspect of developing software and applications for quantum devices.

The earliest advocates of Zapata’s unified quantum operating environment, Orquestra®, have been power-users with academic backgrounds. To better support these users, Zapata will consult with its SAB first to identify new features and improvements for Orquestra. At the same time, the SAB will serve as the pivotal link between Zapata’s enterprise customers and researchers working at leading universities throughout the world. This link will create the collective alignment necessary to develop the most effective quantum algorithms for the most impactful use. The Scientific Advisory Board will also help Zapata attract and recruit top talent from academic circles.

“For Zapata, the SAB allows us the unique opportunity to use real-world scenarios, simulations and feedback to adjust our product to achieve maximum benefits,” said Alán Aspuru-Guzik, CSO and co-founder, Zapata Computing. “We are working at the frontier of knowledge in the field, so it is important to share ideas with some of the world’s top minds in the quantum space. We have included an eminent set of academics in the field to initiate deep discussions about quantum algorithms and their transformative potential for many industries.

The founding members of the SAB include:

  • Andrew Childs, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland
  • Jens Eisert, Professor of Quantum Physics at Freie Universität Berlin
  • Aram Harrow, Associate Professor of Physics at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics
  • Arthur Jaffe, Landon T. Clay Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Science at Harvard 
  • Peter Love, Chair of the Zapata SAB, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Tufts University
  • Will Oliver, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Lincoln Laboratory Fellow at MIT, Director of the MIT Center for Quantum Engineering, and Associate Director of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics
  • James Whitfield, Assistant Professor of Physics, Dartmouth

“Quantum computing is transitioning from scientific curiosity to technical reality,” said Will Oliver, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. “To realize the full promise of quantum computing, it will take time, science, and engineering – across the board. Zapata has brought together a fantastic team of researchers who want to work with academia and industry to develop tomorrow’s quantum algorithms.”

“I’m excited to join the Zapata SAB and to provide directional counsel to the team,” commented Jens Eisert, Professor of Quantum Physics at Freie Universität Berlin. “Zapata is well-positioned in the quantum ecosystem as it realized early on the importance of providing software for near-term quantum devices. Its recently introduced Orquestra has made quite an impact as a unified quantum operating environment, and seems to be very well placed as a comprehensive tool to design and keep track of quantum-enabled workflows. I am keen to see what end-users make of this.”

“The SAB provides a broad academic perspective that can inform Zapata’s direction and activities,” added Peter Love, Chair of the SAB and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Tufts University. “The SAB also serves as an objective group of experts in the field who are well informed about Zapata. As Zapata grows as a company, I also hope that the members of the SAB can help recruit excellent candidates both from their research groups and the wider community.”

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