TMCNet:  NTT Research Boosts Scientific Teams with Nine New Hires

[September 26, 2023]

NTT Research Boosts Scientific Teams with Nine New Hires

NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT (TYO:9432), today announced that it has named Timothée Leleu as Senior Research Scientist and a Group Head in the Physics & Informatics (PHI) Lab. It has also named Victor Bastidas and Maya Okawa as Research Scientists in the PHI Lab; Abhishek Jain, Senior Scientist in the Cryptography & Information Security (CIS) Lab; and Manae Abe as marketing coordinator. Joining NTT Research as post-doctoral fellows are Kyungduk Kim, Midya Parto and Ryotatsu Yanagimoto in the PHI Lab; and Naresh Boddu Goud and Xiao Liang in the CIS Lab. An expert in neuromorphic computing, Dr. Leleu strengthens the PHI Lab's proficiency in artificial neural networking and sharpens its focus on Coherent Ising Machines (CIMs). The additional hires and appointments will boost the PHI and CIS Labs' respective research capabilities. Separately, the Medical & Health Informatics (MEI) Lab has expanded its capacity through an innovative partnership with a premier cardiovascular research institute.

"We are pleased to welcome Drs. Leleu, Bastidas, Okawa and Jain, the five research fellows and Manae Abe," said Kazuhiro Gomi, President & CEO of NTT Research. "I'm excited to see progress on all fronts: the PHI Lab deepening its interdisciplinary bench; the CIS Lab becoming a premier cryptography research center of excellence; and the MEI Lab executing on its ambitious bio digital twin strategy. All of which advances our mission to 'Upgrade Reality.'"

PHI Lab Gains Two Scientists, Three Post-Docs

The PHI Lab conducts research in quantum physics, neuroscience and optical networking. Many of its scientists are working on CIMs, which are networks of optical parametric oscillators programmed to solve problems mapped to an Ising model, which typically represents combinatorial optimization problems. Recent progress includes the development of an initial application. Joining the PHI Lab in its three areas of research are Drs. Leleu, Bastidas, Okawa, Kim, Parto and Yanagimoto:

  • Timothée Leleu, Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Algorithms & Applications Group, PHI Lab. Dr. Leleu was previously Project Associate Professor at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence at the University of Tokyo, where he worked on neuromorphic computing algorithms and architecture. He is primarily interested in the combinatorial aspects of neural computation, with a particular focus on the analysis of neuronal activity for the inference of network structure and the use of artificial neural networks for solving combinatorial optimization problems. Dr. Leleu invented the chaotic amplitude control (CAC) algorithm, hich is highly relevant to the PHI Lab's work on CIMs.
  • Victor M. Bastidas, Research Scientist, PHI Lab. Dr. Bastidas was previously Senior Research Scientist in the Theoretical Quantum Physics Research Group and the Research Center for Theoretical Quantum Physics, NTT Basic Research Laboratories (BRL), Atsugi-city, Japan. His interests include driven quantum systems and quantum criticality in nonequilibrium, quantum phase transitions in closed systems, topology in driven quantum systems, many-body physics and quantum simulation and ergodic behavior in driven systems. From 2020 to 2023 he was Visiting Associate Professor at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo.
  • Maya Okawa, Research Scientist, PHI Lab. Dr. Okawa completed her Ph.D. from Kyoto University Graduate School of Informatics in 2022 and was previously a research scientist for NTT R&D in Japan and a graduate student researcher for the ATLAS volume particle detection experiment at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). Her main research interest lies in developing machine learning and data mining methods to model, understand and predict social phenomena.
  • Kyungduk Kim, Post-Doctoral Fellow, PHI Lab. Dr. Kim received his Ph.D. in 2022 from the Department of Applied Physics, Yale University, where he subsequently served as a Post-Doctoral Associate. His doctoral research focused on studying the spatiotemporal dynamics of highly multimode lasers and their applications. Dr. Kim's research interests include experimental studies in understanding and controlling complex photonic systems.
  • Midya Parto, Post-Doctoral Fellow, PHI Lab. Dr. Parto has also been a Post-Doctoral Scholar at Caltech. He was previously a Post-Doctoral Researcher at College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at University of Central Florida. His research interests encompass a broad range of optical phenomena arising from the harmonious interplay between non-Hermitian and topological effects alongside optical nonlinear processes. These investigations hold significant promise for on-chip light sources as well as advancements in optical information processing and computing."
  • Ryotatsu Yanagimoto, Post-Doctoral Fellow, PHI Lab. Dr. Yanagimoto is a 2020 recipient of a fellowship from the Stanford University Quantum Fundamentals, Architectures and Machines (Q-FARM) initiative. He has worked in the Quantum Meta-Engineering lab of Dr. Hideo Mabuchi. His primary research interest involves understanding and engineering broadband quantum dynamics of optical photons in highly nonlinear systems.

CIS Lab Gains One Scientist, Two Post-Docs

The CIS Lab has emerged as one of the world's top cryptographic research organizations. Directed by Brent Waters, the co-founder of attribute-based encryption and recipient of numerous awards, including two Best Paper Awards in the past three years, the CIS Lab contributes an outsized number of papers to the leading conferences in the field. Joining the CIS Lab team are Drs. Jain, Goud and Liang:

  • Abhishek Jain, Senior Scientist, CIS Lab. Dr. Jain is broadly interested in cryptography, computer security, privacy and related topics in theoretical computer science. Recent papers include "hinTS: Threshold Signatures with Silent Setup," "Scalable Multiparty Garbling," "Indistinguishability Obfuscation from Functional Encryption for Simple Function," and "zkSaaS: ZK-SNARKs as a Service." Dr. Jain is also Associate Professor in Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Naresh Goud Boddu, Post-Doctoral Fellow, CIS Lab. Dr. Boddu received his Ph.D. in 2022 from the Center for Quantum Technologies (CQT), National University of Singapore, where he was advised by Dr. Rahul Jain. At CQT, he also served as a research assistant. His current research interests include quantum tamper-resilient cryptography and theoretical computer science, more broadly.
  • Xiao Liang, Post-Doctoral Fellow, CIS Lab. Dr. Liang was previously a Post-Doctoral Associate at Rice University. He received his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in 2021. His interests include classical and quantum cryptography and its interplay with computational complexity theory. His work has been focused on zero-knowledge proofs, secure multi-party computation, non-malleability and signatures.

MEI Lab, Corporate Marketing and Fellowships

NTT Research's MEI Lab has also experienced growth through the expansion of a strategic collaboration designed to advance its bio digital twin initiative. NTT Research recently struck an agreement with the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center (NCVC) in Suita, Japan, to jointly launch a Bio Digital Twin Center. This is the NCVC's first such collaboration with an industrial partner. It extends and expands the scope of a joint research agreement reached in 2020 and amplifies the MEI Lab's research capabilities.

On the corporate front, the addition of Marketing Coordinator Manae Abe, through coordination with Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), strengthens the team of Chief Marketing Officer Chris Shaw. An award-winning marketer and previous owner of what became the long-time agency of record for NTT Communications' global social media content marketing, Shaw has shepherded the branding of this Silicon Valley startup, using a compelling mix of written and video assets (including a short film produced by Academy Award Winner Janusz Kaminski) to tell the story of how fundamental research can someday improve and even extend human lives. He has also organized three Global Research Summits (Upgrade 2021, 2022 and 2023) which showcase the innovation and initiatives of NTT Research and the broader NTT family of companies.

NTT Research is highly valued by its scientific employees for its freedom and ambitious goals. It is an equal opportunity employer with an active fellowship program for young scientists looking to advance their careers and join our mission to Upgrade Reality. For more on current fellowship and other employment opportunities, please visit our careers page.

About NTT Research

NTT Research opened its offices in July 2019 as a new Silicon Valley startup to conduct basic research and advance technologies that promote positive change for humankind. Currently, three labs are housed at NTT Research facilities in Sunnyvale: the Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, the Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, and the Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab. The organization aims to upgrade reality in three areas: 1) quantum information, neuroscience and photonics; 2) cryptographic and information security; and 3) medical and health informatics. NTT Research is part of NTT, a global technology and business solutions provider with an annual R&D budget of $3.6 billion.

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