Biography of Jake Taylor

The inaugural IEEE Quantum Week, featuring IEEE’s International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering (QCE20), will take place 12-16 October 2020. This multidisciplinary event, which is happening in a completely virtual format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, focuses on quantum technology, research, development, and training.

Dr. Jake TaylorIn this biography of Jake Taylor, readers can learn about one of Quantum Week’s ten keynote speakers. Dr. Taylor is one of the nation’s notable thought leaders on quantum information science and the founder of the National Quantum Coordination Office. In his keynote address, he will explore the explosion of quantum science research initiatives in both public and private sectors and discuss quantum computing opportunities and challenges in both scientific and human innovations across academia and industry.

Background in quantum information science

Dr. Taylor is first and foremost a physicist. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, he began his research career studying stellar clusters and rarified gases. Then, as a Luce Scholar at the University of Tokyo, he began his quantum computing research.

After one year at the University of Tokyo, Dr. Taylor returned to Harvard, where he completed his graduate studies. As a doctoral student, Dr. Taylor joined Harvard professor Mikhail Lukin in advancing the field of quantum information science. Then, after earning his PhD, Dr. Taylor became a Pappalardo Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2006. Here he ran a research program on quantum metrology.

In 2009, Dr. Taylor joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he still leads a research group that connects computer science and physics to further quantum technology. In 2014, he founded the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), which is a partnership between the University of Maryland and NIST to promote research and education in areas of quantum information, theory, and computer science. After a period of five years as the codirector, Dr. Taylor is now a fellow for QuICS.

Recently, Dr. Taylor has also served as the assistant director for quantum information science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). In this role, Dr. Taylor was instrumental in the implementation of the National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018. This law seeks to expand the high-performance computing landscape and to position the United States as a leader in this area.

Notable quantum information science accomplishments

In 2011, Dr. Taylor received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his research on quantum fault tolerance and quantum information devices. And he received the Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal in 2013 for his innovations in designing compact, practical quantum devices that will lead to security and innovation in quantum communication.

In addition to national awards for his contributions to quantum science, Dr. Taylor won the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for his work in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the molecular level in 2012. Then, in 2014, he received the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Scientist Prize in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. This same year, Dr. Taylor also became fellow of the American Physical Society.

Recently, Dr. Taylor has pioneered collaborative work among government agencies and private sector technology companies, including tech leaders like Google and IBM as well as start-ups, to form an “industry” around quantum science. He led a symposium on this collaboration in October 2017, where he called for a collaborative consortium to support the development of a new industry focused on quantum science and engineering.

In September 2018, Dr. Taylor helped launch the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QEDC). As part of this launch, the NIST and SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) signed a cooperative research and development agreement with a mission of expanding the United States’ leadership in quantum computing, communications, and sensing.

Scientific publications and research

With more than one hundred academic papers, multiple book chapters, and five patents for quantum technologies, Dr. Taylor considers his work in the advancement of quantum information a “quest” to build technologies that support a quantum workforce.

Dr. Taylor’s research primarily focuses on understanding the fundamental and practical limits of quantum information–powered devices and finding potential uses for quantum information systems in metrology and measurement. Some of his recent publications in quantum information science include research on the autotuning of double dot devices with the aid of machine learning and mechanical quantum sensing in the search for dark matter.

Current work in quantum information science

While working as the assistant director for quantum information science at the OSTP, Dr. Taylor also served as the founder and director of the National Quantum Coordination Office from April 2019 to June 2020. In this role, he was instrumental in ramping up the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, which is a public-private partnership that enables rapid access to supercomputers for research measures aimed at combating the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Taylor is currently an NIST fellow and a Technology and Public Purpose fellow at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. In this role, he is investigating the interplay of emerging technologies and how it affects the public good.

A contributor to IEEE’s 2016 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Dr. Taylor also continues to expand his research in quantum sensing and the entire field of quantum information science. Don’t miss his keynote presentation at the upcoming IEEE Quantum Week. Registration for the event is now open.


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