Beyond Conventional Computing: The Power of Quantum and Neural Networks

How to understand the structure and behavior of a complex system? This open question is perhaps one of the most intriguing themes in modern science and spans many fields including mathematics, physics, biology, and sociology. To address this issue on the most demanding scales, such as the human brain or in novel quantum materials, tools beyond conventional computing are required. The most promising successors to date are quantum simulation and biologically inspired neuromorphic computing. Our symposium “Beyond digital computing: the power of neural and quantum networks” aims to discover how to combine concepts from these two fields and how to harness their full potential to address globally relevant questions. Recent theoretical developments point to a very close connection between machine learning, neuromorphic hardware and quantum computers, suggesting a new paradigm based on hybrid computing architectures. This approach may lead to a leap in our understanding of cognition and towards future technologies such as quantum chemical synthesis and targeted materials design. Now is the perfect moment to establish a new community at the intersection of these previously separate disciplines and an international Hengstberger symposium could act as a catalyst in defining its new research directions.

Heidelberg, with its exceptionally strong standing in fundamental research in diverse fields, is a unique place to pioneer such an interdisciplinary effort. “Structure and pattern formation in the material world” is one of the four "Fields of Focus" of Heidelberg University and our symposium pushes this focus into a new domain. The Heidelberg Center for Quantum Dynamics hosts outstanding theorists and experimentalists in the field of fundamental quantum systems. Right next door, renowned experts are studying neural networks and building neuromorphic hardware, soon at the new Institute for Neuromorphic Computing. The context for their efforts is given by the European flagship endeavours on Quantum Technologies and the Human Brain Project. Bringing such diverse groups together for the first time and cross-fertilizing their ideas with those from international experts on complexity, network theories, and quantum information processing could be a tremendous gain for the University.

More information under:


Dr. Philipp Preiss and Dr. Juris Ulmanis
Heidelberg University, Physics Institute
Im Neuenheimer Feld 226
69120 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 (0)6221 54 19486, +49 (0)6221 54 19492

Dr. Sebastian Schmitt
Heidelberg University, Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics
Im Neueunheimer Feld 227
69120 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 (0)6221 54 9848


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Letzte Änderung: 21.12.2017
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