Classical and Quantum Optimization

Workshop at ETH Zurich, August 20-22, 2014

Home Registration Speakers Information Program

A workshop in classical and quantum discrete optimization methods at ETH Zurich in conjunction with the Pauli Center for Theoretical Studies will take place in August 2014. Optimization methods have a wide range of real-world applications across a plethora of scientific disciplines. The minimization of a Hamiltonian (or cost function) is one of the foundations of physics. However, solving this often complex optimization problem poses formidable numerical and theoretical challenges, many of which remain unsolved. Because the effort needed to solve most interesting optimization problems scales worse than polynomial in the size of the input, advances in algorithm development are of paramount importance over ever increasing hardware requirements. Most recently, a push towards using quantum instead of classical hardware has emerged. Although promising, there is yet no concrete indication that optimization algorithms exploiting quantum effects pose an advantage over classical heuristic and exact optimization algorithms. However, based on theoretical results, quantum algorithms should be able to outperform their classical counterparts. The goal of this workshop is to bring together leading experts and young researchers working on optimization methods and related fields in an informal setting to build new collaborations and further our understanding in this challenging area of research. The focus of the workshop will be on both exact and heuristic methods, as well as quantum approaches.

The workshop is open to all interested scientists.


Matthias Troyer (ETH Zurich)
Helmut G. Katzgraber (Texas A&M University)
Troels Rønnow (ETH Zurich)