Harry Buhrman


Quantum Computers

Abstract: Quantum computing is the recent combination of quantum mechanics and computer science, resulting in a fundamentally new computer. This computer can solve certain information and communication problems much faster than its classical counter part. For example a quantum computer can quickly factor a big number in its prime factors, something not known to be possible on a classical computer. The very fact that no fast algorithm for this problem is known to exist forms the basis of security for many modern cryptographic protocols. However a working quantum computer would break at once many cryptographic protocols in use today. In my talk I will give an introduction and overview of this new way of information processing and try to indicate the intricacies of programming a quantum computer.

Bio: Harry Buhrman is head of the research group ‘Algorithms and Complexity’ at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica. Since 2000 he also has a joined appointment as full professor of computer science at the University of Amsterdam. Buhrman’s research focuses on quantum computing, algorithms, complexity theory, and computational biology. In 2003 he obtained a prestigious Vici-award and was coordinator of several national and international projects. The unifying theme through the work of Buhrman is the development of new algorithms and protocols, as well as establishing their optimality.