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Quantum Computing: The next new technology in computing

Shuchi Rana, Co-Director Women in Big Data Silicon Valley Chapter 

On January 13, 2021, Women in Big Data hosted a session on “Quantum Computing: The next new technology in computing” with Mark Jackson

Dr. Mark Jackson is the Scientific Lead at Cambridge Quantum Computing, one of the oldest Quantum computing companies in the world. Mark received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Duke University and Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University. He then spent 10 years researching superstring theory and cosmology, co-authoring almost 40 technical articles. To promote the public understanding of science, he founded the science crowdfunding platform Fiat Physica and non-profit Science Partnership Fund. He is Adjunct Faculty at Singularity University and a Director of Astronomers Without Borders.

Quantum Computing: 

The talk covered some of the highlights on what Quantum computing is, where it’s at and where it’s going. Quantum Computing didn’t exist commercially 7 years ago, but will impact everyone in the next few years. 

Quantum computers can help: 

  • Reduce computational speed or number of samples required 
  • Increase accuracy for complex problems 
  • Solve problems that are intractable on today’s classical computers 

Quantum Computing Hardware Technologies: 

  • Superconducting Qubits 
  • Ion-Trap
  • Photonic Quantum Computing
  • Other technologies 

Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages. Check out the video where Mark discusses them in detail. 

Applications of Quantum Computing: 

  • Chemistry and Pharma. Active pioneers – BASF, JSR, Biogen, DuPont 
  • Industrial Goods. Active pioneers – VW, Airbus, BMW, NASA, Bosch, Daimler 
  • Information Technology. Active pioneers – IBM, Alibaba, Samsung, Microsoft 
  • Finance. Active pioneers – JP Morgan, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, ING 

Conclusion: 

  • Quantum Computing will have significant benefits and risks 
  • It takes time to develop quantum algorithms, we start with simple cases and work our way up to take a take advantage of qubits counts and quantum computer features 
  • Quantum hardware is developing much faster than one can imagine, there maybe be several hundred qubits by next year 
  • The time to start developing is now 

Fun fact: Steven Hawking was directly responsible for the creation of Cambridge Quantum Computing. And they are hiring! 

I would highly encourage you to watch Mark’s talk for a deeper dive on the topic. 

Thank you, Mark! Grateful for your time. 

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