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Circuit compilers for near-term quantum computers

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Benjamin
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Intro: Quantum computers are presently reaching the scale where they can perform certain tasks more rapidly than any kind of conventional computer can. However, in order to maximize the potential of this first generation of quantum machines as they arrive, it is important to create quantum compilers – that is, methods to translate a task from a high level description (that, say, a human has designed) into the low-level operations (“gates”) that will occur inside the machine.

Summary: The number of elementary gates in a quantum computation determines the runtime of the quantum computer. It is clearly advantageous to have faster computations that use fewer gates and "circuit compilation" is the art of optimizing and automating this process. For near-term quantum computers (without error correction) effective compilation is especially important because these devices will be noisy and this imposes a practical limit on the number of gates before an error becomes inevitable. Therefore, compilation protocols and software are crucial to whether we will be able to demonstrate a quantum advantage before full blown error-corrected devices are available. This PhD project will develop compilation methods exploring the following two directions.

The project is a joint collaboration between the groups of Simon Benjamin in Oxford, and Earl Campbell in Sheffield. The project and student could be based at either university, according to the preference of the successful candidate. The studentship will be held at the chosen university and the student will be registered for a doctoral degree of the chosen university.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Professor Simon Benjamin ([Email Address Removed]). General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e mail to [Email Address Removed]. You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies. Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at

Funding Notes

This NQIT hub EPSRC-funded 3.5-year PhD/DPhil studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a student with home fee status (this includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study). Candidates with EU fee status are eligible for a fees-only award, but would have to provide funding for their living costs from another source such as personal funds or a scholarship. The stipend will be £14,777 per year. Information on fee status can be found at

Related Subjects

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