Students Participate in IBM Quantum Computing Experience

Henry Xiu ’22 and Arjun Walia ’22
At the start of the school year, Mr. Moorlag gave his students the opportunity to partake in an online course centric around quantum computing provided by IBM and The Coding School. After the admission process, seven of Mr. Moorlag’s computer science students were admitted into the course: Henry Xiu (Gr. 11), Robert Milliken (Gr. 11), Kevin Liu (GY), Karan Amin (Gr. 11), Zack Downey (Gr. 11), Arjun Walia (Gr. 11) and Isaac Khan (Gr. 10). We were immediately exposed to the capabilities and applications of quantum computing in our society.
Quantum computing is the utilization of the random nature of quantum mechanics to solve problems that would otherwise take traditional computers much longer time to solve. For example, Shor’s algorithm can be run on a traditional computer to attempt to break encryption, but using quantum superpositions, the correct result of the algorithm is preserved while incorrect results cancel each other via what is known as quantum interference.
 
The course is composed of weekly virtual lectures hosted by students and faculty members from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and IBM, which discuss topics ranging from vector operations to the intricacies of the Bloch Sphere. Quickly, the course grew in complexity and ventured outside the range of what the average student would learn in high school. For instance, the Bloch Sphere is the vector representation of quantum superposition in three dimensional space. In addition to weekly lectures, students also attended virtual labs which were catered towards in-depth discussion of the topics and ideas explored in the previous weeks.
 
The QxQ IBM Quantum Experience gives high school students the opportunity to explore a new branch of computing. As if they themselves were Turing breaking the enigma code; but instead, the quantum mystery.
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Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.