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CWI’s Jeffery Shows Every Random Walk Algorithm Can Be Made Faster Using a Quantum Computer

By IQT News posted 13 Sep 2019

(CWI) When the first fully-functional quantum computers are finally built they will likely have extremely small memories, so they will require specially-designed algorithms that don’t use a lot of memory.
Stacey Jeffery is a tenure-track researcher at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam who designs these types of algorithms. One of the algorithms she focuses on is a type of classic algorithm called a random walk algorithm. Random walk algorithms are used when a computer is looking for something but doesn’t know how to find it. A random walk algorithm doesn’t use a lot of memory because the computer only needs to remember where it is right now, not where it’s been.
Stacey and her collaborators recently made a major breakthrough in the random walk algorithm. They showed that every random walk algorithm (not just special cases) can be made faster by using a quantum computer, which is something researchers have been trying to demonstrate for 15 years.
n researching how to bring down the memory requirements for certain types of algorithms, Stacey’s work is helping to make functioning quantum computers a reality sooner.
Collaboration is vital for producing these types of advancements and breakthroughs in theoretical research. Stacey’s work has been facilitated by the fact that CWI is located in Amsterdam Science Park which brings together researchers from eight different universities and institutes into one place.

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