Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar Series

A Cat, an Electron, and a Meta-physicist walk into a bar … The Sequel


Mike Shurety, Computer Systems Manager/Lecturer


University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Fri, 24 Aug 2018 14:00:00 NZST in Link 309 Lecture Theatre


When Quantum Computing began to be discussed many questions came to mind. Will my financial transactions be safe? Will they help me pack my luggage in my car when I go on holiday? What is the quickest way to pick up my twelve children from different after school activities? These questions caused many sleepless nights, but perhaps answers can be found. Quantum computers are thought to be able to solve some problems, that take exponential time on a classical computer, in polynomial time. This could be useful in solving problems in the NP Complete complexity class. Problems such as 3-sat, path problems in general, and many graph theory problems are in this category. There are a couple of types of Quantum computer, quantum annealing, and general purpose. D-Wave Industries have built the former but whether they provide quantum speed-up is very controversial. The more useful general-purpose Quantum computers are still being researched by companies like IBM. The current designs are small scale devices of five or so Q-Bits. Both Google and IBM have devices on-line to play with. This seminar will discuss how Quantum computers work at an abstract level, what they are useful for, and what are their limitations. We will also look at a couple of Quantum algorithms.