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USRA's David Bell Engages Media During Quantum Computing Event

NASA invited members of the news media to tour the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL) located at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. During a panel discussion, media heard from NASA, Google and Universities Space Research Association and toured the NAS facility that houses the 1,097-qubit D-Wave 2X™ quantum computer.

Panelist Dr. David Bell has been the director of USRA's Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science for twelve years. Bell leads USRA's participation in the collaboration with NASA and Google for the D-Wave machine which was installed in 2013. This collaboration builds on a thirty-year history of cooperation between the USRA's RIACS and NASA's Ames Research Center, which started with a focus on supercomputing and artificial intelligence, and now extends that focus to include the intersection of quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Other panelists were Dr. Rupak Biswas, Director of Exploration Technology at Ames and Dr. Hartmut Neven, director of Engineering at Google, Inc.

The event began with an address from NASA Ames Research Center Director, Dr. Eugene Tu, and an overview of Google's role in quantum computing by Google Vice President of Engineering, Dr. John Giannandrea. USRA's role in quantum computing was presented by USRA President and Chief Executive Office, Dr. Jeffrey A. Isaacson.

Panelists then described the importance of quantum computing, outlined real-world applications being studied, and explained the potential for quantum computers to resolve optimization problems in aeronautics, Earth and space sciences, and space exploration. Bell contributed that quantum computers could provide improvements for planning and scheduling and air traffic management that are more difficult for traditional supercomputers to handle. USRA scientist Dr. Davide Venturelli was also available to answer technical questions.

David Bell, panelist at Quantum Media Event

Image: David Bell (right) answers a question from the media with panelists Rupak Biswas (left) and Hartmut Neven (center).

About USRA

Universities Space Research Association is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other government sponsors.