5 Reasons We Can’t Wait for Quantum Information & Measurement (QIM) 2014

By David Norris

berlin skylineGreetings from Washington, DC, home of OSA headquarters, NIST, and the Joint Quantum Institute!  In less than two short months we’ll be converging on Berlin like a swarm of photon-hungry locusts for the 2014 Quantum Information and Measurement (QIM) meeting, the latest in the OSA’s conference series for all things quantum and measurable.  But ahead of that time, I look forward to whetting your collective appetite with a series of posts featuring commentary about the upcoming talks.

As a postdoctoral researcher in the NIST Laser Cooling and Trapping Group, I’m always excited for a chance to meet up with our colleagues across the Atlantic to discuss recent results and concerns.  But why is everyone else looking forward to the meeting?  Here are five reasons:

5.) QIM 3.0.  Now in its third iteration, QIM is officially an annual tradition and looks to be better than ever.  And based on feedback from the student attendees, mid-morning pastries have been replaced with platters of currywurst. (I joke.)  

4.) Networking (over German beer).  Outside of the technical sessions, the QIM schedule allots plenty of time for meetings and conversation during the coffee breaks, poster session, and OSA Congress Reception, all while sampling the local beverages.  For grad students, a chance to scope out potential postdoctoral positions; for postdocs, a chance to jockey for open faculty positions; and for everyone, a chance to envy the well-paid sales engineers in the Laser Optics Berlin exhibit hall.  

3.) The future is now.  With 23 invited speakers, dozens of contributed talks and posters, plus top-secret postdeadline papers, the rapid technological progress in our field will be on full display, hopefully with a few surprises.  Will we see qubit storage times jump another order of magnitude?  Experimental proof relating P and NP?  And just how many institutional logos will be entangled and/or teleported by the end of the week? 

2.) Marchtoberfest.  The organizers made a great choice of venue with Berlin.  With an easy Tuesday to Thursday schedule for the meeting, there’s plenty of time left for a long weekend exploring the city’s famous locales, like the Brandenburg Gate, the TV tower, and the Reichstag building.  And even if the March weather is schlecht, Berlin boasts one of the highest concentrations of museums in Europe, for hours of indoor sightseeing bliss.  Did I mention the beer and currywurst?

1.) All quantum, all the time.  QIM is a conference dedicated exclusively to the quantum optics and quantum information community.  This means more technical sessions of interest to you.  No jumping between rooms to avoid talks on trace gas detection or fiber laser engineering.  You could sit in the same chair all day and have no reason to move aside from restoring blood circulation.  (If anyone is giving a talk about trace gas detection or fiber lasers, I sincerely apologize.)


Posted: 30 January 2014 by David Norris | with 0 comments

The views expressed by guest contributors to the Discover OSA Blog are not those endorsed by The Optical Society.


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