CS and quantum information at UT Austin: come join us!

Merry Yom Kippur!

This is my annual post where I tell you about opportunities available at UT Austin, which has long been a safe space for CS research, and which we hope will rapidly become (or return to its historical role as…) a safe space for quantum computing and information.

If you’re interested in faculty positions in computer science at UT, I have some great news: we plan to do a lot of hiring this year!  Because of the sheer volume of interviews we’ll be doing, we’d like to start our recruiting season already in the fall.  So we’re extending an unusual invitation: if you already have your materials ready, we encourage you to apply for faculty positions right now.  If you’re chosen for an interview, we could schedule it for the next few months.

We’ll be looking for great candidates across all parts of CS, but one particular interest is hiring another quantum computing theorist in CS (i.e., besides me), most likely a junior person.  While not everyone who reads this blog is a plausible candidate, and not every plausible candidate reads this blog, the intersection is surely non-negligible!  So again: we encourage you to apply right now, so we can start scheduling interviews already.

I’m also on the lookout for postdocs, mainly in theoretical quantum computing and information.  (I, and others in the theory group, are also collectively interested in postdocs in classical computational complexity.)  If you’re interested in doing a postdoc with me starting in Fall 2019, the procedure, like in previous years, is this:

  • Email me introducing yourself (if I don’t already know you), and include your CV and up to three representative papers.  Do this even if you already emailed me before.
  • Arrange for two recommendation letters to be emailed to me.

We’ll set a deadline for this of December 15.

Finally, if you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in CS at UT, please apply here!  The deadline, again, is December 15.  Just like every year, I’m on the lookout for superb, complexity-loving, quantum- or quantum-curious, lower-bound-hungry students of every background, and if you specify that you want to work with me, I’ll be sure to see your application.  Emailing me won’t help: everything is done through the application process.

As we like to say down here in Texas, hook ’em Hadamards!  (Well OK, no, we don’t especially like to say that.  It’s just a slogan that I found amusing a few years ago.)

12 Responses to “CS and quantum information at UT Austin: come join us!”

  1. Michael Says:

    Scott, Yom Kippur isn’t supposed to be merry. You’re supposed to be repenting for your sins.

  2. roystgnr Says:

    Do you ever work with undergrad researchers? I know a fairly sharp (HS valedictorian, anyway) CS sophomore at UT, and your work came up when we were talking about the P-vs-NP problem last year, but I don’t know if she’ll end up pursuing a PhD, and off the top of my head I can’t imagine you doing anything simple enough for an undergrad (even as a senior, after acing CS378, whatever) to quickly jump into and help with.

  3. Scott Says:

    Michael #1: Yes, hence the irony of the greeting. But actually, rabbis will typically assure their congregants that, despite all appearances, Yom Kippur is a joyous holiday, since it’s when humans get to come closest to living like angels.

    FWIW, I did use the occasion of Yom Kippur to contemplate whether I should repent for the flaws that people attack me for on social media. The answer that came back was: no, none of that stuff should even puncture the epidermis of consciousness; instead I should repent for not being the Comet King from Unsong. I should repent that anthropogenic climate change might render the earth barely inhabitable and I haven’t figured out how to stop it. In that sense, ironically, my most hateful attackers never even came close to correctly articulating the millionth part of my sin!

  4. Scott Says:

    roystgnr #11: Working with undergrad researchers has been a central part of what I do since I became a professor 11 years ago. Did you not see my recent post about Ewin Tang’s breakthrough? Alex Arkhipov, Paul Christiano, Lijie Chen, and Michael Forbes were also all undergrads when they started working with me. Meena Boppana, Sumegha Garg, Renan Gross, and Bill Fefferman did undergrad summer projects. I’ve even worked with high school students, like Leonid Grinberg, who’ve gone on to notable things.

  5. Leo Says:

    I propose the Aaronson scale for atheists on Yom Kippur:

    0. Observe the holiday out of guilt or habit
    1. Break some prohibitions discreetly, e.g. eat in private but don’t post to the public Internet
    2. Publish posts on a widely-read blog
    3. Go out of one’s way to violate prohibitions, e.g. the traditional cheeseburger
    4. “Merry Yom Kippur!”

  6. Yoni2 Says:

    Michael #1, Scott #3, Leo #5

    Yes, Yom Kippur is joyful (“Never were more joyous festivals in Israel than the 15th of Ab and the day of atonement…” – Taanit 4:8), so not sure that there is any irony in the phrase. (While it certainly isn’t a typically used phrase, the traditional “good yom tov”, which has similar connotations, is used – at least in orthodox circles.)

    Unless you meant it as in “be merry / merrymaking” – in which case maybe there may be some irony (as that would typically specifically allude to food, drink etc.).

    Scott – as an aside, I rarely get the chance to comment on your posts, so just to let you know I really enjoy the blog. Wishing you a shana tova.

  7. Scott Says:

    Leo #5: LOL!

    Yoni2 #6: Thanks much, both for the kind words and for backing me up re Yom Kippur! 🙂

    I offered Lily a choice yesterday: she could go to kindergarten like normal, or she could go to a children’s Yom Kippur service. She chose the synagogue, seeming pleased with herself at finding a way to miss school. But then it took only an hour at the service, Lily sitting there with folded arms and a scowl like a jaded teenager, that she was asking me to bring her to school instead…

  8. fred Says:

    Scott #7

    Isn’t it amazing how fast little kids develop adults’ attitudes and understand naturally pretty advanced speech concepts?
    It starts with a helpless baby that’s just looking around with wide opened eyes to a little version of a woman/man in a mere 2 years…
    I would like to hear your views on this as a CS expert and a father.

    That’s one thing Schrodinger somewhat brings in his book “My view of the world” – how do “isolated” minds manage to agree and share their views of reality (isolated in the sense that everything we perceive/experience is totally private/subjective).
    One key aspect seems to be mimicry (both in animals and humans).

  9. Scott Says:

    fred #8: As “a CS expert and a father,” I agree that it’s amazing. 🙂

  10. roystgnr Says:

    Scott #4 – I must have missed or skimmed that post; thank you! I’ll point your CS378 syllabus her way and see if there’s any interest.

  11. Yaqub Says:

    Do you believe that Michael Atiyah solved the Riemann Hypothesis?

  12. Raoul Ohio Says:

    Michael Atiyah states that he has proven the Riemann hypothesis!

    https://www.sciencealert.com/top-mathematician-sir-michael-atiyah-solved-a-160-year-old-1-million-maths-problem-riemann-hypothesis

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