Inaugural speech Stephanie Wehner (QuTech)

News - 04 October 2017

Stephanie Wehner (QuTech) was appointed as an Antoni van Leeuwenhoek professor at the end of 2016 by the TU Delft. These chairs are intended for the promotion of bright young minds to professorships. Friday October 6th is the date of her inaugural speech in the auditorium. In December last year she already addressed students, because there is a lack of computer scientists that can already deal with small quantum computers in practice.

Stephanie: “You see, the ‘tough cookie’ about quantum computing is that it is very abstract and theoretical. Don’t get me wrong: I am fascinated by the fact that I can switch on my computer this second for a complicated calculation and it could still be caught up by the quantum computer that will be built in only 15 years from now. But, at present, quantum information has largely been the domain of theoretical computer science. Because, in the absence of quantum devices in the real world, mathematical proof is the only way to argue about quantum technologies. In the future, we will see a new form of quantum computer science. With, on the one hand, ideas from computer science combined with intimate knowledge of quantum information to test and control quantum devices. And, on the other hand, as small quantum computers become available, I expect we will see the development of many heuristic algorithms, as is indeed the case in classical computing. So a call to all the students, as there is only one big obstacle: there is a lack of quantum computer scientists ready to take on the above mentioned new adventure.”