USask College of Arts and Science undergraduate student Tarah Teixeira
USask College of Arts and Science undergraduate student Tarah Teixeira. (Photo: Submitted)

Quantum computers can enhance medicine, artificial intelligence: USask research

Quantum computing is an innovative, complex realm many are unfamiliar with, but for those fascinated by mathematical physics — like University of Saskatchewan (USask) student Tarah Teixeira — it’s exciting to be a part of the development of future applications for quantum computers.

“The first time I visited the U of S was during an open house,” said Teixeira, a U of S College of Arts and Science undergraduate student.

“I was invited to sit in on a mathematics lecture that morning. I gladly missed the welcome event to attend the lecture. After that day, I was determined to study mathematical physics.” 

Under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Rayan (PhD), director of the Centre for Quantum Topology and its Applications (quanTA) and a faculty member in the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Teixeira began studying how quantum computers work as part of her honours degree in mathematical physics.

To operate, classic computers use small pieces of information called bits. Bits can operate in an ‘on’ or ‘off’ state — like a light switch — that helps the computer to classify and process information. Alternatively, quantum computers use quantum particles referred to as qubits. Instead of operating like a light switch, quantum particles have spin. Whatever direction the particle’s spin is observed in is called its ‘state.’

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