USC CS Theory Lunch: A tale of Turing Machines, Quantum Entangled Particles and Operator Algebras

Friday, April 16 at 11:45am to 1:00pm

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Virtual Event

USC Computer Science Department

Henry Yuen (Columbia University)

In a recent result known as "MIP* = RE," ideas from three disparate fields of study — computational complexity theory, quantum information, and operator algebras — have come together to simultaneously resolve long-standing open problems in each field, including a 45-year old mystery in mathematics known as Connes’ Embedding Problem. In this talk, I will describe the evolution and convergence of ideas behind MIP* = RE: it starts with three landmark discoveries from the 1930s (Turing’s notion of a universal computing machine, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, and von Neumann’s theory of operators), and ends with some of the most cutting-edge developments from theoretical computer science and quantum computing.

This talk is aimed at a general scientific audience, and will not assume any specialized background in complexity theory, quantum physics, or operator algebras.


Henry Yuen is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He received his PhD from MIT in 2016, and received his B.A. in Mathematics (minor in Computer Science) from the University of Southern California, where he has fond memories of the CS Theory Lunch. His research focuses on the intersection of complexity theory, quantum computing, and cryptography.

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