Quantum Computing: Prospects and Challenges

Vivien Kendon (Durham University, UK)

Quantum computing promises more efficient computation for some important types of problems, such as simulation of quantum systems, non-convex optimization, and (famously) factoring large semi-primes. However, the first useful quantum computers will be limited in what they can do. Applying them to bottlenecks that are hard for classical computers is key to extracting the best performance out of combined classical and quantum hardware. Interfacing different types of hardware brings many challenges, including mismatched timescales, incompatible data formats, and more complicated logic in the programme flow. The basic concepts that make quantum computing an exciting near term prospect will be explained for non-experts, and some of the more adventurous opportunities explored.

Viv Kendon is associate professor of physics at Durham University (UK). She has a PhD in computational physics from the University of Edinburgh, and worked in Glasgow, London, and Leeds before arriving in Durham in 2014. She is known especially for her work applying quantum versions of random walks to quantum computing. She has been developing quantum computing and applications for the past twenty years, focusing on the underpinning science of computation, and pushing the boundaries of computation beyond conventional paradigms.


Vivien Kendon