PhD Spotlight: Tirthak Patel, PhD’22 – Computer Engineering

After earning his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with honors from the University of Toronto, Tirthak Patel joined Northeastern to pursue his PhD in computer engineering, advised by Devesh Tiwari, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Patel’s research addresses the challenge of error-prone program executions on quantum computers and provides robust solutions to improve their reliability. While the field of quantum computing is rapidly advancing, relatively high noise on near-term quantum computers remains a fundamental roadblock prohibiting wider adoption. Due to the high noise levels, program executions on near-term quantum computers produce erroneous program outputs. Programmers largely lack the tools to estimate the correct output of these noisy program executions.

Patel’s research has focused on designing cross-layer system software for extracting meaningful output from erroneous program executions on quantum computers. In particular, he led the effort to benchmark and analyze the performance of different quantum algorithms on quantum computers. Patel leveraged the insights gained from this measurement-based experimental effort to inform the design of his novel software tools and methods.

He has published more than 35 rigorously peer-reviewed research papers. Patel also interned at Berkeley Lab, served on conference committees, reviewed journal papers, served as a teaching assistant, and delivered lectures about quantum computing at Northeastern.

In recognition of his research contributions, Patel received the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, the Northeastern University College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Research Award, the ACM-IEEE Computer Science George Michael Memorial High Performance Computing Fellowship, and the Northeastern University Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Research.

Following graduation, Patel will join Rice University’s School of Engineering in the fall of 2023 as an assistant professor of computer science.

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering