William Kirby

About me

I received my BA in physics from Williams College in 2017.  At Williams, I conducted research with Charlie Doret and Bill Wootters, before completing a senior research thesis with Frederick Strauch.  In 2016 I was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.  I am currently conducting research with Shelby Kimmel of Middlebury College, on methods for calibrating quantum gate sets.  I am an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, from the present through 2023.

When I'm not busy with physics, I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, singing, and spending time with my family and friends.


Download full CV: pdf

GitHub: https://github.com/wmkirby1

Research interests, with papers, talks, and posters

Quantum Algorithms

I am interested in developing efficient quantum algorithms for problems that are untractable in classical computation.  I also study methods for calibrating universal gate sets for quantum computers, an essential task in developing practical quantum computing.

  • William M. Kirby and Frederick W. Strauch, A Practical Quantum Algorithm for the Schur Transform, arXiv:1709.07119 (2017).
  • William M. Kirby, A Practical Quantum Schur Transform, Senior Honors Thesis, Williams College Physics Department (2017). Download full text.
  • William M. Kirby, The Quantum Schur Transform, Williams College Spring Physics Thesis Talks, 5/15/2017.
  • William M. Kirby, Building Quantum Algorithms, Williams College Physics Fall Thesis Talks, 12/12/2016.
  • William M. Kirby and Frederick W. Strauch, Efficient Quantum Compiling, 2016 APS New England Fall Meeting (poster).

Quantum Entanglement

I have studied schemes for quantifying entanglement in systems of two and three qubits, building from the measure known as "tangle," and working to develop bounds and approximation methods.

  • William M. Kirby, A Tight Bound on Tangle for Two and Three Qubits, manuscript (2016).
  • William M. Kirby and William K. Wootters, Quantum Entanglement: Enigma and Resource, Weekend for Williams Lecture, 10/3/2015.
  • William M. Kirby and William K. Wootters, A Tight Bound on Entanglement for Two Qubits, 2015 Williams College Summer Science Poster Session (poster).

Philosophy of Physics

I am interested in the philosophical quandaries that lie at the heart of quantum mechanics, especially the "measurement problem" and attempts to resolve it.