Isaac Kim

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Phone: 530-752-1500

Research Interests:

Kim’s research focuses on building powerful, efficient and reliable quantum computers. To simulate and study quantum mechanical systems, such as cations and electrons orbiting an atom, researchers need a computer that thinks along the same lines.

“In order to describe these systems reliably, we need to reproduce that quantum entanglement, but on a classical computer, doing that is very hard and you need to write an enormous amount of numbers,” he said. “If you use a quantum computer, you’re not writing down all these numbers explicitly in your memory—you’re simply creating a toy version of this physical system in your quantum computer.”

One of the biggest challenges with current quantum computers is reliability. Quantum computations can require millions or billions of steps to solve a problem, so Kim works from both a hardware and software perspective to make sure everything works correctly and runs smoothly. Having a reliable quantum computer allows researchers to perform calculations that aren’t currently possible, which can help them better understand the universe.