Get in touch

If you are interested in this programme, have ideas for collaboration or have entrepreneurship related questions please email me at cristina.sargent04 at the usual Imperial College domain.

I am the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial. The residency programme is designed to support universities wishing to turn their world-leading research into commercial success.

The aim

The main theme of my programme is Mathematics for Quantum Technology (QT) 2.0. Mathematics has an important role to play in QT, both in terms of fundamental research and applications. My programme is focusing on developing links between the College and the wider quantum community, including quantum hubs and the quantum industry. I am providing guidance and support to staff and students interested in emerging quantum or quantum-enabled technologies, products and services. For more information, please see Quantum 2.0 section.

A larger scope of my work is to support those interested in Mathematics for Innovation. If you would like to explore potential applications of your research please get in touch. Also, let me know if you are interested in entrepreneurship, participating in innovation projects or industry career paths. For further information please see Mathematics in Innovation section.

Seminar series

Mathematical methods and machine learning algorithms for emerging quantum technologies

View upcoming and past seminars below.  Contact me at cristina.sargent04 at the usual Imperial College domain, to find out more about the seminar series.

Mathematics for Quantum Technology 2.0 - Past Seminars

Quantum Computing Platform for NISQ (Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum) Era Commercial Applications

Dr Marco Paini, Program Director of Quantum Applications at Rigetti Computing. Date: Wednesday 7 April 2021, 12:00 (GMT), 13:00 (CET). Online.

After a short introduction to quantum computing, Marco will present the project, currently in progress, to build the UK’s first quantum computer to be commercially available. The project, titled “Quantum Computing Platform for NISQ Era Commercial Applications”, is being led by Rigetti, in partnership with Oxford Instruments, Standard Chartered, Phasecraft, a Bristol and London-based quantum software start-up, as well as the University of Edinburgh.

A general overview of the project and details from the quantum machine learning in finance work stream will be presented.

Introduction to Quantum Algorithms

Professor Ashley Montanaro, Professor of Quantum Computation in the School of Mathematics at the University of Bristol, member of the Quantum Information Theory and Theory and Algorithms research groups. Date: Wednesday 31 March 2021, 12:00 (GMT), 13:00 (CET).

Quantum computers are designed to outperform standard computers by running quantum algorithms. Areas in which quantum algorithms can be applied include cryptography, search and optimisation, simulation of quantum systems and solving large systems of linear equations. Prof. Montanaro will briefly present some known quantum algorithms, with an emphasis on their applications. He will also discuss recent developments and near-term applications of quantum algorithms.

Seminar recordings can be accessed via Mathematics for QT 2.0, Recordings.

Introduction to Quantum Computing, Overview and Prospects

Dr Bruno Fedrici, Scientific Advisor & Lecturer on Quantum Technologies, National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), Lyon. Wednesday 24 March 2021, 12:00 (GMT), 13:00 (CET).

A brief introduction to relevant concepts of quantum technologies, expected near/mid-term impacts on industries such as pharmacology, financial services and cyber security, as well as the development of the fast-growing quantum industry.

Quantum Lidar

Prof. John Jeffers from the University of Strathclyde and QuantICThursday 13 August 2020, 12:00 - 13:30 GMT.

Quantum Lidar is an extension of the Lidar concept. Lidar uses laser light for detection and ranging whereas Quantum Lidar uses entangled light to illuminate an area and detects reflected single photons to detect the position and the structure of objects. Quantum Lidar has the potential to offer many advantages including enhanced sensing and precision, covertness and resilience to spoofing attacks. Quantum Lidar is expected to have a wide range of applications from self-driving cars to archaeology and geology, atmospheric science and defence. 

However, to make quantum lidar viable in the real world we still have to solve many scientific and technological issues such as quantum illumination protocols to allow the signal detection in the daylight or more effective processing methods to turn the information from the returning photons such as phase and return time, into images, in useful time and with adequate resolution. These challenges may be resolved sequentially or in scientific and technological breakthroughs. We may need completely new approaches to the concept and realisation of quantum lidar.

Either way, the technology has a substantial mathematical component, from framework modelling and technology design to signal processing and this is an opportunity for those in the mathematical community who may want to be involved in the Quantum Lidar innovation journey. 

Quantum Enabled Radar

Christopher Baker, Chair in intelligent sensor systems, University of Birmingham and Chief Technology Officer of Aveillant Ltd, Jahanger Mohammad, Research Fellow, Quantum Sensors and Metrology Hub. Date: Thursday, 23nd of July 2020, 12:00 – 13:00hrs, GMT. Follow-up meeting: 13:30-15:00hrs GMT.

Quantum enabled radar will have a high impact on the air traffic surveillance industry as it will enable the detection of small, slow moving objects such as drones and birds at longer distances and in more cluttered environments such as urban areas. Quantum enabled radar uses quantum oscillators within a classical, holographic radar system for substantially increased performance. However, to build and deploy distributed surveillance systems with quantum enabled radar we require new design, modelling, simulation and processing methods. 

Each innovation stage has a substantial mathematical component and fresh thinking is required on how to tackle these challenges. You are invited to join us for an introductory seminar (Thursday23 July, 12:00 – 13:00hrs) on this topic with our guests Professor Chris Baker and Dr Mohammad Jahangir, world known specialists in radar systems.  We are opening a dialogue between the mathematical community and scientists working on this technology with a view to explore potential collaboration initiatives. Those interested are invited to join us for a follow-up discussion between 13:30 and 15:00hrs on the same day.

Quantum Communication, Part I

Prof. Timothy Spiller, Director, EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub Director, Centre for Quantum Technologies, University of YorkDate: Thursday, 16 July 2020, 12:00 – 13:00hrs GMT

This seminar will introduce you to quantum communication research and innovation programs.  It will highlight challenges and mathematical problems in this area and the opportunities for mathematics researchers to contribute. Quantum communication involves the generation and use of quantum states and resources for communication protocols.   Typically, the underlying protocols are built on quantum random number generators (QRNG) for secret keys and quantum key distribution (QKD) for their secure distribution. Both areas, QRNG and QKD, require a combination of new quantum technologies and encryption protocols for security and performance. There are a considerable number of issues which need to be resolved and with the significant progress being made in building quantum computers, it is more and more urgent to replace the currently deployed public-key cryptography communication systems with quantum-resistant counterparts.

Overview of Quantum Computing and Simulations, UK National Programme, Part I

Evert Geurtsen, Co-Director for User Engagement of the Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub. Date: Thursday, 2nd of July 2020, 12:00pm - 1:00pm GMT.

The QCS Hub is a consortium of 17 Universities 28 companies led by the University of Oxford and is part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. Evert will talk about the status and outlook for practical quantum computing and its applications. The UK is at the forefront of this technology and through its National Quantum Technologies Programme that involves a network of universities and companies, is building its economic advantage in the midst of global (and sometimes hyped) developments in this field. Evert will also explain how researchers can engage with the technology and the UK programme, including some dedicated funding opportunities.

Mathematics for Quantum Technology 2.0

Dr Cristina V. Sargent, Royal Society of Science: Entrepreneur in ResidenceThursday 28 May 2020 12:00 - 13:00hrs GMT.

Introduction to Quantum Technology 2.0 and UK's Quantum National Programme. An overview of quantum applications and innovation challenges which are relevant for the mathematical community.