East, Richard

I originally studied theoretical phyics at Manchester where I became interested in alternative constructions of quantum mechancis, in particular categorical quantum mechanics, which lead me to do a masters at Oxford in mathematics and the foundations of computer science where this formalism was invented. Thesis "Formal Diagrammatic Spin Physics", defended 7 march 2022.
In addition to my academic background I have also co-founded two start-up companies, one in Wales called HutSix Security (which is still going strong), and another in Toronto called Sumeria Labs (which failed miserably). My project in Grenoble is based on my interest in applications of category theory to the study of physics: ' The categorical structure of probabilistic and continuous variable quantum computing'.

To expand on the slightly amibiguous title, the aim is to study ZX calculus, a high-level modelling structure for quantum computation built on categorical quantum mechanics applied to qubit systems. It offers multiple different computational interpretations. In this project we will interpret quantum info processing in terms of fusion and splitting of logical operators represented through ZX. This system requires formalising - in particular, in general Pauli fusion operations are probabilistic and give one of a number of different outcomes. The interest in this is that this structure is much better than standard unitary circuit QC for modelling measurement-based or post-selective operations (frequent occurrences in the case of actual devices), while also incorporating unitary evolution as a special case. Alongside formalising one also needs to understand how probabilities are incorporated into this structure - e.g. focusing not on a single ZX diagram, but sets of diagrams and accompanying weights. This allows work on a whole new terrain of quantum probabilistic computing. As specialisation of this work one can deal specifically with infinite-dimensional H-space categories to analyse continuous variable QC. Looking at CVQC versions of Pauli fusion operators and probabilistic composition of CV computations is not something that's been looked at before. It's also a potential use-case for the tech being developed as part of the project as this has direct application to continuous variable qc devices being developed currently.
Published on May 3, 2022