Future of Computing

Switzerland has been historically very active in computing technology.

Conrad Zuse, Niklas Wirth, the IBM Research Lab Zurich and others have been at the forefront and gained worldwide recognition for their inventions.

Cognitive, neuro and quantum computing are upcoming technologies, promising a new era and exciting possibilities.

What is to be expected now and in the near future and will Switzerland play a role will be discussed and presented.

D-Wave - the first company to sell quantum computers in the world - and others will present at the event.

Background information



Prof. Dr. Ralph Eichler

Ralph Eichler obtained his doctorate in Physics from ETH Zurich.

After being active as a researcher in the USA (Stanford University in California and LAMPF/Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility in Los Alamos/New Mexico) and Germany (DESY/German Electron Synchrotron, Hamburg), as well as at the Institute for Medium Energy Physics at ETH Zurich and as a project manager at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), he became a Professor of Physics at ETH Zurich in 1989. His scientific career then took him once again to DESY, this time as spokesman of the international collaboration H1, before he took on leading roles at PSI, firstly as Deputy Director from 1998 to 2002 and then as Director from 2002 to 2007.

From September 2007 to December 2014 Ralph Eichler has been President of ETH Zurich.

Ralph Eichler is member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and is Chairman of the Foundation 'Schweizer Jugend Forscht'. In addition, he is a member in the Board of Directors at Belenos Clean Power Holding Ltd. in Biel.

He is member of the Venture Foundation and the Oberwolfach Stiftung.

He is member of the Board of Councillors of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and member of the International Board of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).

Prof. Dr. Matthias Troyer

Matthias Troyer is is a Principal Researcher in the Quantum Architectures and Computation Group at Microsoft Research.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics, and recipient of the Rahman Prize for Computational Physics of the American Physical Society.

After receiving his PhD in 1994 from ETH Zurich he spent three years as postdoc at the University of Tokyo before returning to ETH Zurich.

There he has been professor of Computational Physics until taking leave of absence at the end of 2016 to join Microsoft’s quantum computing program.

His research activities center on large scale simulations of quantum systems, development of new simulation algorithms, high performance computing and quantum computing.

Besides his research on quantum physics he is collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of colleagues towards the modeling and simulations of island ecosystems.

Dr. Alessandro Curioni

Dr. Alessandro Curioni was named Vice President, Europe and Director of the IBM Research – Zurich Lab in April 2015. In addition, since November 2015 he is leading the research activities for the newly formed Watson IoT unit.

Dr. Curioni is an internationally renowned leader in the area of high-performance computing and computational science, where his innovative thinking and seminal contributions have helped solve some of the most complex scientific and technological problems in several industries including healthcare, consumer goods and electronics.

In 2014, Dr. Curioni was promoted to the rank of IBM Fellow, the corporation's highest technical recognition. In 2013, he was a member of the winning team recognized with the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize by setting a new record of 14 Petaflops in simulation performance, recognition that he received for the second time also in 2015. Moreover, Dr. Curioni and his colleagues received the PRACE Award in 2012 and the US National Medal for Technology and Innovation in 2008 for the IBM Blue Gene family of high-performance computers.

Dr. Curioni started at IBM Research – Zurich as a PhD student in 1993 before officially joining as a research staff member in 1998. Prior to becoming Vice President and Director, he was head of the former Cognitive Computing and Computational Sciences department.

Dr. Curioni received his undergraduate degree in Theoretical Chemistry and his Ph.D. from Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy.

Dr. Colin P. Williams

Colin is Director of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at D-Wave Systems Inc. - the World5s first quantum computer company - where he works with corporate and government clients to infuse D-Wave quantum computing technology into their products and services.

Colin holds a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, a M.Sc. and D.I.C. in atmospheric physics and dynamics from Imperial College, University of London, and a B.Sc. (with Hons.) in mathematical physics from the University of Nottingham.

He was formerly a research assistant in general relativity & quantum cosmology to Prof. Stephen W. Hawking, at the University of Cambridge, a research scientist at Xerox PARC, and an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Prof. Dr. Rolf Krause

Rolf Krause is chair of advanced scientific computing and the director of the institute of computational science (ICS) in the faculty of informatics.

He is also the Co-director of the Center for Computational Medicine in Cardiology (CCMC) at USI.

From 2003 to 2009, he was professor for Scientific Computing at the University of Bonn.

During that time he spent a sabbatical at UC San Diego (USA) and Columbia University New York (USA).

In 2002 he was on a research visit at the Courant Institute (NYU, New York).

He holds a Diploma and a PhD (2000) in Applied Mathematics from FU Berlin (Germany).

His research focuses on numerical simulation and mathematical modeling in scientific computing and computational sciences, in particular the development of theoretical well founded simulationmethods, which show excellent performance also in real world applications.

His editorial work includes the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing (SISC) and Computing and Visualizatio in Science (Springer).