The Southwest Quantum Information & Technology Workshop celebrates over two decades of advancing Quantum Information Science

Posted: November 18, 2021

For the past 23 years, the Southwest Quantum Information & Technology (SQuInT) workshop has brought some of the greatest minds together across the Southwest to promote research in Quantum Information Science (QIS). This year’s event, was held from October 14 – 15th 2021. Although it looked different than before, it continued the strong tradition of community and collaboration.

Co-organized by the Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC) at The University of New Mexico (UNM) and the Oregon Center for Optical Molecular & Quantum Science (OMQ) at the University of Oregon (UO), SQuInT was held virtually for the first time. The new format nearly doubled registrations for the event, and drew in 100-150 researchers and students from across the country and the world.

Oral sessions were held on Zoom across the two days with invited speakers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, and University of Colorado Boulder. Additionally, 87 posters were presented using Gather.Town, an app in which  participants created avatars and  interacted with other conference participants by moving about virtual “rooms”.

Indeed, the virtual workshop was well received from the community. David Wineland, Professor at the University of Oregon and the Nobel laureate, said, “I think the meeting came off very well; well-organized and hosting a good selection of speakers,”

Katharina Gillen, Professor at the California Polytechnic State University, said, “I think virtual SQuInT was a great success. I loved Gather.Town: I was able to walk around the posters like I would in real life, talking to each other was really easy, and I even sat down at one of the coffee tables with Ivan [Deutsch] to chat!”

SQuInT is a network of node institutions dedicated to facilitate “the exchange of resources – intellectual and human”. With 28 partner research laboratories and universities, Centers, and Institutes, SQuInT has helped advance the field of QIS  by strengthening connections between researchers and sharing advancements within the field. The annual workshop is the network’s main activity, and planned to be held in Fall in coming years. This year’s workshop was partially supported by the National Science Foundation through FRHTP and QLCI Q-SEnSE.