School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

Delegates at a Quantum Computing workshop.

Quantum Computing Workshop Hosted by UKZN

A successful and well-attended quantum computing workshop was hosted on the Westville campus by the Centre for Quantum Technology and the Discipline of Computer Science.

The more than 30 participants included a variety of third-year and postgraduate Computer Science and Physics students.

Students were given introductory lectures on quantum computing, with a focus on the elementary principles of quantum mechanics that drive quantum computing. Participants also enthusiastically engaged in practical sessions where they learned how to program quantum computers.

Quantum computing uses quantum mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computations. It is a burgeoning inter-disciplinary research field that has ample opportunities for research students and the workshop was intended to introduce students to this relatively new and exciting field.

The lectures and practical sessions were facilitated by members of the Centre for Quantum Technology and a research group headed by Professor Francesco Petruccione and hosted within the School of Chemistry and Physics.

Lectures and practical sessions were given by Petruccione, Dr Maria Schuld and Mr Ian Joel David.

Petruccione was very pleased with the enthusiasm of the students and said he hoped they continued to advance their knowledge in the field. He is looking forward to arranging more seminars of this nature as students are clearly interested in learning new and emerging fields such as quantum computing.

Academic Leader of Computer Science Professor Serestina Viriri thanked Petruccione and the Centre for Quantum Technology for informing Computer Science students about a new and exciting technology. He hoped the workshop was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between computer scientists and physicists at UKZN.

Words: Anban Pillay

Photograph: Supplied