Postdoc in AI-driven optimization of variational algorithms for near-term quantum computers

Project description

Variational quantum algorithms (VQAs) seek to make the most of noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices currently operating at academic and industrial labs around the world. VQAs are hybrid algorithms where NISQ devices are controlled via optimization algorithms implemented on classical computers. VQA algorithms have promising near-term applications including in quantum chemistry and optimization.

The application of VQAs to quantum chemical problems is currently limited by both software and hardware – in this project the selected candidate will address two key limitations on the software side:
- Warm-start for VQAs using the underlying structure of molecules and their Hamiltonians – to minimize the number of quantum-classical computer cycles needed for convergence.
- Learning functions to map molecules to bespoke hardware-efficient circuit Ans├Ątze – to lower the demand on the number of qubits necessary to accurately compute ground state energies.

The selected candidate will be embedded into an interdisciplinary environment between the Chalmers departments of Computer Science and Engineering as well as Chemistry and Chemical engineering, and the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT). This inter-disciplinary research project is part of an on-going collaboration between the groups of Simon Olsson, Anton Frisk Kockum, and Martin Rahm to enable quantum chemistry on quantum computers aided by machine learning. The selected candidate will be based at the Computer Science and Engineering department yet enjoy full access to and a work-place at WACQT and the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments.

The research takes place at Chalmers University of Technology, and the position is funded by Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (described below) and the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT).

Information about the division and the department
About the Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology - WACQT
WACQT is a 12-year initiative (2018-2029) aimed to bring Swedish academia and industry to the forefront of Quantum Technology. The center is funded mainly by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundations with additional contributions from participating universities and industry. At Chalmers, the focus is to build a superconducting quantum computer and simulator and to explore useful applications of quantum computing. The Quantum Technology and Applied Quantum Physics laboratories work on experimental and theoretical aspects of quantum information processing with superconducting electronics. We currently have a transmon-based 25-qubit quantum processor and are scaling up further. As a researcher in this project, you will be closely interacting with postdocs and PhD students in WACQT. WACQT is committed to promoting career development, diversity, and gender equality through networking and supporting activities.

About the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – WASP
WASP is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems.

The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry.

The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for the Natural Sciences (AIMLeNS) group (head: Simon Olsson) is an interdisciplinary group focusing on developing tools to target challenging problems in the natural science. We have particular focus on molecular- and bio-physics and chemistry.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) is a joint department at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, with activities on both campuses. Around 240 staff and approximately 125 Ph.D. students from more than 30 countries comprise the department. Our research spans from theoretical computer science to applied systems development. We provide high-quality education at Bachelor's, Master's, and graduate levels, offering over 120 courses each year. We also have extensive national and international collaborations with academia, industry, and society. The Data Science & AI division within CSE engages in research and education within a growing area encompassing Data Science, AI, Machine Learning, and its applications.

Major responsibilities
As a Postdoctoral researcher your main responsibility is to lead a research project in collaboration with the project PIs and drive its implementation (80%). The selected candidate will also have the opportunity to mentor and co-supervise junior researchers and teach on a graduate level (20%).

The research entails developing and implementing scientific ideas, establishing research collaborations, communicating your results orally or in written form via scientific venues, including in journals and at conferences.

To qualify for the position of postdoc, you must hold a doctoral degree awarded no more than three years prior to the application deadline (according to the current agreement with the Swedish Agency for Government Employers).

Applicants must have a quantitative background with a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in physics with a specialization in computational quantum physics or quantum information or in computer science with a specialization in machine learning. Candidates with an advanced degree in computer science ideally have a BSc or MSc degree or equivalent in physics. Viable candidates have a strong publication track-record.

Finally, the selected candidate will have excellent writing and speaking of English. Knowledge of Swedish is not a prerequisite for consideration.

Contract terms
This postdoc position is a full-time temporary employment for two years.

We offer

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20230082 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including:
• CV, include complete list of publications
• Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous research fields and main research results
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form.

Application deadline: 2023-07-01

For questions, please contact:
Simon Olsson

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!


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