Keynote Speaker


Entering the Era of Quantum Utility: What can you do with 100 Qubits?

Sarah Sheldon

IBM Quantum — Senior Manager, Quantum Theory and Capabilities

KEY03 — Tuesday, September 19, 2023 @ 8:00-09:30 Pacific Time (PDT) — UTC-7



Dr. Sarah Sheldon is a Principal Research Scientist and Senior Manager of Quantum Theory and Capabilities at IBM Quantum. She leads a team that studies quantum theory, error mitigation, and error correction. Her group develops techniques for handling noise and optimizing performance in novel experimental demonstrations of quantum computers. Sarah’s research has focused on improving gate calibrations in superconducting qubits, developing techniques for characterizing quantum devices, and extending the capabilities of current quantum systems. She received her Ph.D. in nuclear science and engineering from MIT in 2013 and conducted much of her graduate research at the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing as a visiting scholar. She joined IBM shortly after, where she continues to enjoy the collaborative effort and unique challenges required to realize quantum computing.


The proven speedups of canonical quantum algorithms over their classical counterparts has motivated work towards realizing quantum computers. To achieve these speedups we need fault tolerance, which is out of reach on today’s quantum hardware. At the same, time state-of-the-art noisy quantum systems are approaching a scale and quality that is hard to simulate classically. This begs the question: is there anything we can do before fault tolerance? This talk will describe using quantum computers to study interesting problems in the near-term with error suppression and error mitigation techniques. I will highlight recent 100+ qubits experiments run on IBM Quantum systems and discuss what these first demonstrations tell us about the types of circuits we can run successfully on quantum computers and the types of problems we will be able to access. I will also talk about research on bringing down overheads for both error mitigation and error correction. The combination of error handling capabilities, resource reductions, and upcoming hardware advances will enable us to execute increasingly large quantum circuits, bringing us further down the path towards quantum advantage.