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"To me, the term ‘quantum’ sounded very science fiction."

- ARNOLD OVERWATER MSc student

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ARNOLD OVERWATER

MSc student in Software Technology

What made you choose master’s course in quantum?

“Currently I’m a student in the Algorithms group at the department of Software Technology. The QuTech course Fundamentals of Quantum Information does involve some programming, as well as security, cryptography and algorithms. These are all topics I have been dealing with in my bachelors, so I thought this would be a logical elective.”

Was there some interesting take-away from the course?

“The course was indeed very interesting! And well, everything that they say in the popular media about quantum computing is only based on half (or rather, partial) truths. Now that I took the course, I’ve gained a better insight.”

“At QuTech, and maybe even in quantum computing in general, they are still very busy with the circuits, which is normal because the technology is still not as developed as the classical computers.”

A quantum computer doesn’t magically break your code, it just exploits its power to perform period finding.

Arnold Overwater

MSc Student

What was your idea of ‘quantum mechanics’ before taking the course and has it changed?

“To me, the term ‘quantum’ sounded very science fiction. While the course that I did mainly dealt with a lot of linear algebraic constructs, the actual physical aspects, which were introduced in the evening lecture during a special lab tour, were quite awe-inspiring. I found that quite fascinating.”

What was something that, when you got out of the class, kept you thinking?

“What really fascinates me is one of the algorithms I learned (called the Shor’s algorithm), which doesn’t exactly speed up in exponential steps; it actually translates the problem (of period computation) into an efficient one. And such a translation is not feasible on a classical computer. A quantum computer doesn’t magically break your code, it just exploits its power to perform period finding, which happens to be related to cryptography.”