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Archive for November, 2011

A new BBC documentary about the brilliant minds who cracked secret Nazi codes, thus significantly hastening the end of World War 2, features interviews with several University of Waterloo scientists including IQC Deputy Director Michele Mosca.

Mosca jumped at the opportunity to be part of Code Breakers: Bletchley Park’s Lost Heroes, because it allowed him to highlight an unsung hero, former uWaterloo professor and cryptography pioneer William Tutte. Because Tutte’s contributions to the war effort were kept a secret by order of British security until 1993, his intellectual heroism has been relatively unknown. Tutte died in 2002 without ever having been truly recognized for his achievements.

“I was very happy to speak about Tutte for the documentary,” Mosca said. “In many ways, IQC grew out of the legacy he created at the University of Waterloo.”

You can watch the entire entire fascinating documentary here (and you can see clips of Mosca and other University of Waterloo faculty starting after about the 50-minute mark).

 

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Getting exciTED

This Saturday is TEDxUW, the University of Waterloo’s own version of the hugely influential TED Talks phenomenon, and we here at the Institute for Quantum Computing can’t wait.

Not only is IQC a sponsor and exhibitor (we’ll have a booth in the foyer with some quantum equipment other goodies to show off), but IQC postdoctoral fellow Krister Shalm is one of the speakers during the event.

Regular readers of QuantumFactory will likely remember Krister from some of his earlier outreach exploits — perhaps the Quantum Physics and Harry Potter event, or his various videos explaining entanglement or showing how to make a double rainbow. Krister is passionate about scientific outreach, and he’s extremely good at it too.

We’re not going to divulge what Krister intends to talk about on Saturday, other than to assure you that it’ll be surprising, moving and inspiring. If you can’t attend in person, we strongly suggest you tune in on the livestream to see Krister and all the other great speakers on the lineup.

To those attending: we look forward to seeing you there. Be sure to stop by the IQC booth during the lunch break — we might even let you wrangle some quanta!

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They came, they saw, they quantum-encrypted.

More than 40 exceptional high-school students from around the world converged in Waterloo this past summer for QCSYS — the Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, held at the Institute for Quantum Computing.

By day, they attended in-depth lectures and performed hands-on experiments in quantum cryptography and related facets of quantum information science. By night, they zoomed around in go-karts, played mini-golf and otherwise built connections that will last a lifetime.

We asked them what they thought of the experience, and here’s what they said:

Looking forward to QCSYS 2012!

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