Alejandro Perdomo-Ortiz joined NASA Ames Research Center in 2012 as a research scientist, where his latest research involves the design of quantum algorithms to solve hard optimization problems and machine learning applications. In addition to his main focus on using quantum technologies to assist in solving computationally intractable problems, he has also worked on the quantum engineering of molecular electronics devices, biomolecular sensors, and the design of nanostructures capable of directing excitonic energy transfer in light-harvesting antenna arrays. He has also worked in the theoretical description of the emerging field of nonlinear ultrafast fluorescence spectroscopy.
Perdomo-Ortiz received a master's degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University. Before joining Harvard, he held research assistant positions at Clemson University, the University of Florida, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a three-time winner of Harvard's Certificate of Excellence in Teaching and the Dudley R. Herschbach Teaching Award for teaching quantum mechanics to undergraduate students. While at NASA, he was the recipient of the 2014 Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Award from the University of California, and the recipient of the 2016 Ames Honor Award for the category of Contractor Employee. He is originally from Cali, Colombia where he completed undergraduate studies in chemistry at Universidad del Valle.
Since October 2012 and building on his five years of prior experience programming the D-Wave quantum computer (2007-2012), Alejandro has worked in the implementation of several applications of interest to NASA's Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL). He also developed a tuning strategy for quantum computing devices that achieved up to two orders of magnitude enhancement in the performance of the quantum algorithms for certain problem instances. Over the past nine years, he has worked on several foundational methods to implement robust quantum annealing algorithms; from physics-based approaches towards a better fundamental understanding of the device, to the validation and verification of these quantum technologies, and in the code development and implementation of several applications across a broad spectrum of application domains, with quantum machine learning and fault diagnosis being his current foci.
Perdomo-Ortiz is fascinated with the unique opportunities in the nanoscale world and their quantum mechanical properties. Within the NASA team, he is interested in understanding the scalability and performance of quantum annealing algorithms and their realistic experimental implementations for broad applications in space exploration research.
Alejandro Perdomo-Ortiz Research Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center alejandro.perdomoortiz @nasa.gov