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AEP Senior Leo Moon Wins CURB Award
Leo Moon, a senior in Engineering Physics, won the Design and Engineering award for the CURB (Cornell Undergraduate Research Board) spring 2022 symposium for his thesis, “Hamiltonian Reconstruction Distance as a Metric for Variational Quantum Eigensolver,” supervised by Professor Peter McMahon.
“Estimating ground states for large, frustrated quantum-spin systems (systems between magnetic interactions whose spins are not oriented to profit from the interaction with its neighbors) is of interest in quantum matter research, “ says Moon. “Solutions such as Variational Quantum Eigensolvers (VQE) that use a quantum circuit are one solution, but unless the exact ground energy is known, there is no method to evaluate the VQE's performance.
“To solve this problem, I used simulations (simulating quantum circuits in a classical computer), to verify that the Hamiltonian Reconstruction distance actually works as metric in VQE before the algorithm is run in actual quantum hardware, which would be costly. The next step in my research would be running the Hamiltonian reconstruction algorithm, using actual quantum hardware, to show that Hamiltonian Reconstruction distance can indeed perform as a metric in VQE.”