USC College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences University of Southern California CQIST The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering USC


Quantum information science and technology is an emerging interdisciplinary academic discipline concerned with the study of the new possibilities quantum mechanics offers for the acquisition, transmission, and processing of information. Quantum computers are predicted to solve classically intractable tasks such as breaking cryptographic codes, efficiently search large databases, and efficiently simulate quantum dynamics. Quantum cryptography offers unconditional security. And quantum information theory has revolutionized our understanding of the capacity of communication channels.

The mission of the USC Center for Quantum Information Science & Technology (CQIST) is to advance fundamental experimental and theoretical knowledge in relevant areas of Engineering and Physical Science. We mentor graduate and postdoctoral research, sponsor a vigorous visiting scholars program, develop and teach novel QIST-based courses, organize international conferences and workshops, and hold regular seminar series.

CQIST is a truly interdisciplinary Center, spanning the USC College of Letters, Arts & Science, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Our faculty members represent wide-ranging expertise in theoretical, experimental, and technological aspects of quantum information processing.

We welcome applications from graduate students and postdocs. We sponsor an annual international competition for the CQIST Postdoctoral Fellowship, a lucrative fellowship that allows its recipient to work with any of our faculty members. Interested candidates should contact Valerie Childress,, to apply or with any questions. The application deadline is December 31 for a position starting the following year.

List of current CQIST Postdoctoral Fellowship holders.
Recent News:
  • 4/25/13: CQIST member Ben Reichardt published an article in Nature on "Classical command of quantum systems".
  • 3/27/13: The 503 qubit D-Wave 2 Vesuvius processor was turned on at noon at the USC Information Sciences Institute.
  • 3/26/13: Quantum Processor ranked in Discover Magazine's Top 100 stories of 2012. Artlcle here.
  • 3/13/13: CQIST Director Daniel Lidar chairs the Physics Nobel prize symposium at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society. For videos fo the event see here.
  • 10/12: CQIST Director Daniel Lidar was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
  • 10/28/11: The USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center was formally established at the USC Information Sciences Institute. The Center's mission is to help close the gap between academic research in quantum computation and real-world critical problems. A D-Wave One 128-qubit “Rainier” processor, the world's first specialized quantum optimizer, has been installed in the Center. A focus area of the Center is the application of quantum annealing, as implemented in D-Wave One, to machine learning. Research conducted in the Center includes both algorithm development and fundamental physics problems arising as part of quantum annealing. CQIST director Daniel Lidar is the scientific director of the new Center. CQIST member Sergio Boixo is the Center's first quantum computation engineer. More information here.
  • 10/13/11: Two Postdoctoral Positions in Quantum Computing
  • 7/20/2011: CQIST faculty member Susumu Takahashi published a paper in Nature on decoherence in crystals of quantum molecular magnets.
  • 4/22/2011: A team led by CQIST Director Daniel Lidar was awarded a Department of Defense Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI) for the topic "Control of Quantum Systems: Theory and Experiments". The team includes researchers from Iowa State University, University of Massachusetts, Boston, University of California, Riverside, Princeton University, and Griffith University (Australia).