Nicholas Ezzell

  • Program Year: 3
  • Academic Institution: University of Southern California
  • Field of Study: Physics
  • Academic Advisor: Daniel Lidar
  • Practicum(s):
    Los Alamos National Laboratory (2021)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Physics, and B.S. Mathematics, Mississippi State University, 2019

Summary of Research

Quantum computing is a hot field right now. With promises of "quantum supremacy" and the threat of breaking RSA encryption which protects all our computers, it's no surprise why. But is the hype justified? My goal in graduate school (incoming in Fall 2019) is to help shed light on this question. In particular, I hope to look for quantum advantages by first furthering the theory of existing quantum computing devices, especially quantum annealers. This is because current theory often expects a fault-tolerant quantum computer that is not feasible in the near-term. If we're going to find a use from current technology, our search can't begin by assuming we have a perfect device. However, assuming imperfect devices (i.e. non-Markovian noise) quickly leads to analytically unsolvable problems. This is where the power of modern super-computers comes in: we can instead accurately model realistic devices. To summarize, my research goals involve developing accurate computational models of near-term, noisy quantum computing devices and using these models to look for quantum advantages.


Gibbs, J., Holmes, Z., Caro, M., Ezzell, N., Huang, H., Cincio, L., Sornborger, A., Coles, P. (2022) "Dynamical simulation via quantum machine learning with provable generalization," arXiv:2204.10269.

Caro, M., Huang, H., Ezzell, N., Gibbs, J., Sornborger, A., Cincio, L., Coles, P., Holmes, Z. (2022) "Out-of-distribution generalization for learning quantum dynamics," arXiv:2204.10268.

Ezzell, N., Holmes, Z., Coles, P. (2022) "The quantum low-rank approximation problem," arXiv:2203.00811.

Ezzell, N., Pokharel, B., Lidar, D. (2021) "A survey of dynamical decoupling sequences on a programmable superconducting quantum computer," 23rd Southwest Quantum Information and Technology (SQuInT) conference, Online.

Ezzell, N., Pokharel, B., Lidar, D. (2021) "A survey of dynamical decoupling sequences on a programmable superconducting quantum computer," American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting, Online.

Ezzell, N.A., Novotny, M.A. (2019) "Forward-reverse error mitigation algorithm for quantum annelars," American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting, Boston, MA.

Ezzell, N.A., Kairys, P., Humble, T. (2018) "Simulations of Ising Models using a Quantum Computer," Oak Ridge National Lab Summer Poster Session; 2018 August 9th; Oak Ridge, TN.

Zhang, Y., Zai-Rose, V., Price, C.J., Ezzell, N.A., Bidwell, G.L., Correia, J.J., Fitzkee, N.C. "Modelling the Early Stages of Phase Separation in Disordered Elastin-like Proteins," Biophysical Journal, Volume 114, Issue 7, P1563--1578, April 10, 2018.


Unitary Fund Award
Organization: Will Zeng
Issued Date: 21 September 2018

Goldwater Scholarship
Organization: Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation
Issued Date: 30 March 2018

College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Award
Organization: Mississippi State University Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Issued Date: 2 March 2018

Presidential Scholarship
Organization: Mississippi State University (MSU)
Issued Date: 10 August 2015