Prof. Yao’s Remark at the Inauguration Ceremony of IIIS and CQI
Director Lei, Director Yang, President Gu, Academician Sun, Secretary Chen, dear colleagues and guests,
Thank you for coming on such a Saturday afternoon for our big event. And I’m sorry that my remarks will be delivered in Chinese.
Today is a big day. Information science is a fundamental discipline of practical value. It witnessed substantial development over the past three decades as shown by Internet and high-performance computers. We can see that for the three decades to come, critical development lies in the interaction between information science and other disciplines. Tsinghua University has gained strong strength in information science and laid a profound foundation for the development of interdisciplinary sciences. Under such background, the establishment of Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences and Center for Quantum Information will promote new opportunities, which is of great significance not only to Tsinghua, but also to China as a whole. Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences currently hosts two research organizations, namely Institute for Theoretical Computer Science and Center for Quantum Information. Institute for Theoretical Computer Science has gained substantial development over the past six years while Center for Quantum Information is at its early stage. Now I’d like to briefly introduce these two fields, which will achieve considerable growth in the future.
Theoretical computer science studies algorithms and how to solve various scientific and engineering problems in the best and most efficient way. It has been greatly emphasized internationally and witnessed rapid development. China is at an early stage and will gain significant growth in this regard. Let me show you an example. In his testimony before US Congress, Mr. James Simons, the most profitable mathematician and funds manager proposed to set up graduate fellowship in mathematics, physics and theoretical computer science, which has shown what people of vision have in mind concerning the importance of theoretical computer science. This year, Mr. Simons proposed the establishment of a ten-year research center, with an annual input of six million US dollars. Many universities are competing for the grant, which indicates the great potential of theoretical computer science.
Quantum information has been widely reported in the media and one or several quantum information centers can be found throughout many regions including America, Europe, Canada and Singapore. They have been well-funded and devoted to the development of quantum Internet through quantum physics that transmits quantum information. Research centers across the world are competing for this goal, which will create great impact in quantum information as well as an enormous economic impact. Breakthroughs in fundamental science will surely bring tremendous influence on people’s life. Therefore, Center for Quantum Information will join hands with other institutes in China to secure a competitive status in quantum information worldwidely.