We are delighted to announce the following keynote speakers: Barbara Terhal (RWTH Aachen University) and Erik Vinkhuyzen (Nissan Research Center)

Barbara Terhal

Barbara Terhal is a professor in Theoretical Physics at RWTH Aachen University since 2010. She was a research staff member at the IBM Watson Research Center, NY (USA) from 2002-2010. She has been working in quantum information theory since her PhD in 1999, developing quantum information protocols, researching the complexity of quantum computation and advancing the field of quantum error correction and fault-tolerance. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a distinguished visiting research chair at Perimeter Institute (Canada).



Title: Where we stand with building a quantum computer

We review the current status of experimental efforts implementing some quantum information processing. We outline the challenge of using these building blocks in a scalable fashion to make a robust and fault-tolerant quantum processor which can outperform classical devices. We discuss the central role played by quantum error correction and our research on designing quantum error correcting architectures.


Erik Vinkhuyzen

Dr. Erik Vinkhuyzen is a senior researcher at Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley, where he is a member of the Human Understanding and Design group and brings a social scientific perspective to the development of self-driving vehicle technologies.  Before joining Nissan Erik worked 16 years at Xerox PARC as a member of the Computing Sciences Laboratory, and before that he worked at NASA Ames Research Center as well as the Institute for Research on Learning.  He is the author of numerous articles on the impact of so-called intelligent technologies on work, and people’s work practices.  His studies have spanned a range of work settings and technologies from call center work and CRM systems, to clinicians working with electronic medical records, from copy shop employees using copiers and printers to the use of the Voice Loops system by officers in NASA’s mission control.  His current work focuses on the interaction of autonomous vehicles with other road users.  He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Amsterdam, and his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Zurich.



Title: Autonomous Vehicles and Communication on the Road

There are few new technologies these days that speak to the imagination like autonomous vehicles (AVs).  A future with zero accidents, mobility access for all, and the possibility of reducing green house emissions would serve a social good and make AVs very desirable.  AVs will also enable new businesses in the mobility sector.  The regulators are frantically trying to adapt the rules of the road to allow testing of this new technology while maintaining public safety. 

And yet, there remain formidable hurdles to the technological development of AVs, challenges that have their root in the social nature of driving; the normative nature of the rules of the road, and perhaps especially the interaction between AVs and other road users—pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclist, and other drivers.  AVs cannot yet operate reliably in all contexts, and in places where traffic is self-organized it has proven difficult to find a comfortable median between yielding incessantly to other road users and being overly aggressive.  Movement on the road is an act of communication about one’s intentions, and it is this communicative aspect of movement that is still hard for AVs to perceive, leave alone deliberately execute; communication has not been at the forefront of AV technology development.  This talk will outline the challenges of autonomous driving and how Nissan Research is working to construct socially acceptable autonomous vehicles.