Pakistani-American Scientist Irfan Siddiqi is Top Expert in Quantum Computing

Karachi-born Pakistani-American Dr. Irfan Siddiqi is the head of Lawrence Livermore Quantum Computing Lab at the University of California at Berkeley.  He's also one of the architects of the United States Quantum Initiative backed by industry, academia and the federal government.

Silicon Valley Diversity:

Dr. Siddiqi was recently featured on Silicon Valley-based NBC Press Here TV hosted by Scott McGrew. Others who made an appearance in the same show were Krishna Motukuri and Kevin Guo. Motukori is Indian-American founder of Zippin which is pushing automated checkout technology that will obviate the need for buyers to stand in line to pay. Amazon is already using this technology at Amazon Go stores. Kevin Guo is Chinese-American founder of AI startup Hive. This show was a good representation of Silicon Valley's diversity with many immigrant techies at its center. In fact, minorities are now majority is Silicon Valley.

Dr. Siddiqi's Background:

Dr. Siddiqi was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He came to the United States in his teen years with his family and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY. Then he got his bachelor's degree from Harvard and Ph.D. at Yale where he worked on superconducting qubits, also written as q-bits. Dr. Siddiqi has been teaching at UC Berkeley since 2006.

Dr. Irfan Siddiqi
Quantum Computing:

In quantum computing, a qubit or quantum bit is the basic unit of quantum information—the quantum version of the classical binary bit physically realized with a two-state device. Here's how Dr. Siddiqui explained quantum computing in an interview with Design News:

"For me, any quantum technology, including quantum computing, is something that takes advantage of entanglement. And entanglement is the idea that if you have different pieces of matter and you put them together, they behave as a single unit. So, for example, each of the bits in a classical computer are independent of each other. If you flip one, it doesn't affect the one next to it. In a quantum computers all of these bits have correlation with each other so they're all tied together like one big mass. In fact, the number of states that they can occupy is exponentially larger because of these linkages between neighboring elements. Quantum computing is the science of manipulating this entangled set of bits for some particular problem of interest in either fundamental science and computation or to do a simulation of the natural world."

Quantum Computing Applications:

Top American tech companies are racing to build a new generation of powerful quantum computers backed by $1.3 billion commitment from US Congress to help them compete with the Chinese. Advanced quantum computing power will likely have many defense and intelligence applications like decrypting computer coded messages. Potential civilian applications include new drug discovery and artificial intelligence.

Summary:

Dr. Irfan Siddiqui is a Karachi-born Pakistani-American scientist engaged in leading edge research in quantum computing. He's part of the increasingly diverse technology workforce of Silicon Valley, California where immigrants  from  many emerging economies such as India, Pakistan and China are helping define the future.

Here's a video of Dr. Irfan Siddiqi speaking on quantum computing:

https://youtu.be/4dfoCf-noHE





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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Edward Said was really disappointed when he met Sartre, Foucault and De Beauvoir

https://stepfeed.com/edward-said-was-really-disappointed-when-he-met-sartre-foucault-and-de-beauvoir-8119


Said was fascinated by French philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Michel Foucault.

Eager to discover the three philosophers’ perspectives on the Arab region's issues, Said was thrilled when he received an invitation from de Beauvoir and Sartre in 1979 to attend a conference on the Middle East in Paris.

“It might just as well have been an invitation from Cosima and Richard Wagner to come to Bayreuth, or from T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf to spend an afternoon at the offices of the Dial,” he recalls in his diary.

When Said reached Paris, he was surprised to learn that the proceedings had been shifted to Foucault’s house for ambiguously unexplained security reasons. The next few days continued in the same chaotic manner.

The themes of the event had been chosen by an acquaintance of Sartre without consulting with any of the participants. None of the Arab scholars were happy with the selected topics “covering more or less familiar ground, with no real meeting of minds” and neglecting the struggle of the Palestinians.

“It soon enough became clear that Israel’s enhancement was the real subject of the meeting, not the Arabs or the Palestinians,” Said wrote.

Such was the attitude of Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Foucault, Said discovered.

Even though Said and Foucault chatted amiably - and Said was pleased to see one of his books on the latter's bookshelves - Foucault was reluctant to discuss anything regarding the Middle East.

Stories of Foucault leaving Tunisia - where he was a professor in the philosophy department at the University of Tunis - were never proven completely. A fellow professor told Said that Foucault left after anti-Israel riots filled the streets in Tunisia, while others suggested his homosexual activities with students was the reason he was deported from the country.

Pro-Palestine French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, had also told Said that he had fallen out with Foucault because of the latter’s Zionist views.

Based on such accounts, Said assumed that Foucault’s reluctance to discuss Arab affairs was due to his anti-Palestinian sentiments.

As for de Beauvoir, Said remembers her as “lecturing anyone who would listen about her forthcoming trip to Teheran with Kate Millett, where they were planning to demonstrate against the chador."

To the Palestinian-American writer, who had been looking forward to discussions with her, the idea seemed “patronising and silly” and he soon realized that she was vain and beyond arguing with.

Despite the disappointment in de Beauvoir and the strange encounter with Foucault, Said still maintained high expectations of his hero Sartre.

After all, he had opposed his own country’s occupation of Algeria, a position that “as a Frenchman must have been harder to hold than a position critical of Israel.”

However, he was wrong. Sartre was a staunch supporter of Israel. In fact, his pro-Zionist views had ruptured his friendship with the pro-Palestine French novelist Jean Genet.

The Existentialist thinker showed up late and contributed little to the seminar. Sartre praised the former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who had just signed the Camp David Accords - a peace agreement between Egypt and Isreal - with no mention of the Palestinian struggle.

Said was “shattered” to discover that “the justice of the Arab cause simply could not make an impression on [Sartre] … whether that was because he was afraid of seeming anti-semitic, or because he felt guilt about the Holocaust, or because he allowed himself no deep appreciation of the Palestinians as victims … or for some other reason, I shall never know.”

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