Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quantum Computing

Yesterday, I sat in on a meeting with representatives from DWave, makers of the world's first commercially available quantum computer. It was, to say the least, pretty impressive. The machine solves graph theory problems by minimizing quantum spin energy over an interconnected matrix of 128 qubits, and it does this very very quickly. The trick to making this technology useful is to figure out how to take existing problems and reformulate them as a graph theory task. They have their own research staff working on applications but they are also seeking outside collaborators such as Temple. We discussed whether quantum computing can improve performance in some long-standing problems in Human Language Technology (the field of our ECE Chair Joe Picone) or in neural decoding. Did I mention you can program this thing using Matlab? Nerd heaven.

Its been a long time since I was up to speed on graph theory, so it looks like I'll be hitting the books over the next week. Hopefully I'll post a primer after I do that.

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