The Second International Conference on Quantum Error Correction (QEC11) took place at USC's Davidson Center during the week of December 5, 2011. Almost 180 researchers and students from around the world participated in the event, which was organized by USC's Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology (CQIST). The first conference in the series (QEC07) also took place at USC, four years ago, and participation in the 2011 sequel was up by about 50%.
The conference started with a series of four tutorial talks, featuring USC conference organizers Todd Brun and Daniel Lidar alongside Andrew Landahl (Sandia) and Robert Raussendorf (UBC), in a session chaired by SIU's Mark Byrd, the third organizer. A packed schedule of talks followed for the remainder of the week, each day starting with a keynote lecture, given by renowned quantum information scientists Raymond Laflamme (Waterloo), Hideo Mabuchi (Stanford), Emanuel Knill (NIST Boulder), and Daniel Gottesman (Waterloo). Two $400 best-student paper prizes were awarded, to Jeongwan Haah (Caltech) and Matthew Reed (Yale), for particularly original and influential contributions.
The field of quantum error correction deals with the problem of protecting fragile quantum computers against noise and disturbances caused by their environment or by imperfect controllers. Significant advances were reported since QEC07, and included a variety of experimental demonstrations of protected quantum computations. The conference ended with a demo of USC's new D-Wave One 128-qubit quantum processor, given by ISI's Sergio Boixo. The demo showed how the D-Wave One can be used to decode classical low density parity check error correcting codes, thus neatly connecting quantum and classical information processing.
Nearly all conference lectures were recorded; video, PowerPoint or pdf links can be found at http://qserver.usc.edu/qec11/program.html.