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Richard Feynman proposed harnessing quantum systems for computational power in a thought experiment almost forty years ago. In October, a quantum computer achieved in minutes what the world's most powerful classical supercomputer would take days to compute. Soon, quantum computers will be able to perform calculations that will never* be solvable classically.
Yet in spite of their power, programming these devices has remained largely the province of theoretical physicists. Have you ever wondered how quantum computers work, or what's up with quantum mechanics, anyway? This talk will provide an introduction to quantum computing and quantum information science, the state of the field today, where it's headed, how it will affect us all, and how you can get involved. We'll write a simple quantum program together and turn on lasers thousands of miles away to make atoms do math.
*All bets are off if P=NP.
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