An announcement that the University at Buffalo will be enrolling its first quantum-computing students on campus has sparked speculation about how the first semester will be structured.
The University at Bills announced Wednesday that it will enroll students in two quantum-based courses, in the first of which will be offered in fall 2018.
This marks the first time the University has offered a two-year quantum-related program.
The announcement also came as a surprise to many.
One of the students, who asked to remain anonymous for the sake of her own safety, told the Times Union that she was initially surprised by the news.
The first semester, she said, will be mostly focused on quantum computation.
“The first semester was really focused on theoretical physics,” she said.
“There’s not much practical application.”
She also said she was not surprised to hear that quantum-enabled machines would be used for data-mining.
“That’s the biggest surprise,” she told the paper.
“But then I thought, well, maybe I am just crazy.
Maybe I can just make a machine and run it on the quantum computer and get the results I want.”
According to the university’s website, the two courses will be available for students to take online or at their home locations.
One course will be in the form of a tutorial on “quantum-assisted data mining,” and the other will be a two weeks course, with a focus on “practical quantum computing.”
The courses will start on Aug. 31, 2019, and will be administered by the Computer Science Department.
The course schedule has not yet been announced, though the university says the first week of classes will be “very open,” with the possibility of scheduling more sessions after the first.
The University at Bill’s announcement came after the New York Times reported that a team of scientists and researchers at the University’s Center for Quantum Computing in the Department of Computer Science had created a computer that could use quantum computers to “break encryption” in real time, or “be a quantum decryption agent.”
The Times article suggested that the team, led by a postdoctoral fellow, had discovered the secret to the “quanta problem,” a mathematical problem that has puzzled mathematicians for more than a century.
The “quantum problem” is the quantum equivalent of a string of five consecutive primes, but in this case it involves finding a number between two and five that is more than two digits away from any other number.
In an email to The Times Union, an undergraduate said that the university did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“There are a lot of different approaches to solving the quanta problem, so it’s possible we haven’t been able to find a solution that’s truly quantum,” she wrote.
“The fact that we are doing this now makes it even more important for the university to continue to explore how to create new tools and new kinds of applications to solve the problem.
That means taking the right approach.”
While there have been a few other reports of scientists at the university trying to solve “the quanta” problem in their own laboratories, this is the first real-world attempt, said Ravi Ranganathan, a professor at Cornell University’s Department of Mathematics and Applied Science.
“They have the hardware, they have the software, and they have some theoretical knowledge,” he told the newspaper.
“So they’re clearly making progress.
But the question is, how do they solve this?”
In a recent post on his blog, physicist David Reiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology described an experiment that used a qubit to “interleave” an electronic signal with an “unknown” one.
In the process, the signal was “caught” in the trap, and an entangled qubit was created.
The qubit that was caught in the “cascade trap” was “quantized” to two digits, and the signal, which was also entangled, “escaped.”
The scientists then “interlaced” the two qubits to see what the result was.
In Reiss’ experiment, the entangled qubits were both “qubit 1” and “qubits 2.”
The result: the signal is “canceled,” meaning that both qubits are “decoupled” from each other.
In other words, the qubits aren’t “separated.”
“I think this is just the beginning,” Reiss wrote.
The Cornell team’s results “could open up a lot more avenues for research into quantum computation,” said Ranganatha, who said that he would like to work with the team in the future.
“In the next few years, we’ll see more people doing this in the lab, but it’s not the end,” he said.
“But then we will see some really crazy stuff happen.”
Reiss’ blog post also included a video of an experimental setup used in the experiment.
The device consists of a pair of electronic pulses (one in the center and one