Rotman Management

Bringing Quantum to the People

In September of 2019, Rotman Assistant Professor Peter Wittek went missing during a mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas, after being caught in an avalanche. Peter was a valued member of the Rotman community and his loss is keenly felt. We are honoured to end this issue on Creative Destruction — a topic Peter was passionate about — with his final interview, which took place in July of 2019.

You oversee the Creative Destruction Lab’s Quantum stream, which seeks entrepreneurs pursuing commercial opportunities at the intersection of quantum computing and machine learning. What do those opportunities look like?

Peter Wittek: We’ve been running this stream for three years now, and we were definitely the first to do this in an organized way. However, the focus has shifted slightly. We are now interested in looking at any application of quantum computing.

These are still very early days for quantum computing. To give you a sense of where we are at, some people say it’s like the state of digital computing in the 1950s; but I’d

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