Monday, July 29, 2019

Quantum Computing at the University of Illinois Springfield

Quantum computing was once the sole purview of science fiction writers. Today, however, it’s fast becoming a reality that higher education can get on board with.

Ray Schroeder, Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield and Founding Director of the National Council for Online Education, joined the Enrollment Growth University podcast to discuss what the advent of quantum computing means for higher education.

What Is Quantum Computing? “Shohini Ghose has a quote that I just love,” Ray said. ‘If you’re confused about the quantum computer, don’t worry, that means you’re getting it.” Even Einstein called quantum computing spooky.

We’re accustomed to computing in binary digits, bits, ones, and zeros. That’s the way in which we do all of our coding and all our computing. Quantum computing, however, uses cubits, which are quantum bits.

The difference between binary bits and cubits is that cubits can represent one or zero, but they can also can represented as one and zero. In some cases, there can also be a direction or phase quantity added to that. “So there are multiple states for every cubit,” Ray said, “whereas, for every bit, there’s just a zero or one.

And usually, these are held on photons or electrons or some other subatomic particle or wave.” You can call them either a wave or a particle because they behave both as waves and as particles.

So with a cubit, we can do much more because we’ve got three or four different representations for every cubit. That allows us to process information much, much faster. In fact, in a quantum computer, works about 10,000 times faster than the standard supercomputer today.

This article appeared on on July 26, 2019.

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