Yale Professors Make Google and IBM Race for the First Quantum Computer

Yale Professors Make Google and IBM Race for the First Quantum Computer

Robert Schoelkopf, a Yale University professor, is at the head of a global attempt to build the world’s first quantum computer. Such a machine would use the ostensibly mysterious principles of quantum mechanics to solve problems that modern computers never could.

Three leaders of the tech world – Google, Intel, and IBM, – are using a method created by Mr. Schoelkopf and other physicists as they compete to build a machine that could drastically speed up everything from business intelligence systems to drug discovery.

After their study helped to stimulate the work of so many others, Mr. Schoelkopf and two other Yale professors have started their own quantum computing company, Quantum Circuits.

Their startup has $18 million in funding from the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and others. It is one more sign that quantum computing – for a long time a far-away dream of the world’s computer scientists – is coming closer to reality.

In the last couple of years, it becomes a technology that companies can begin to commercialize. It is apparent to us and others around the world that companies know enough about this that and can build a working system.

Quantum computing systems are hard to understand because they don’t perform like the usual world we live in. But this counterintuitive performance is what allows them to execute calculations at a rate that wouldn’t be achievable on a standard computer.

Modern computers

Modern computers store data as “bits,” with each transistor keeping either a 1 or a 0. But credit to something called the superposition principle – performance exhibited by subatomic particles like photons and electrons. The basic particles of light – a quantum bit, or “qubit,” can store a 1 and a 0 simultaneously. This means two qubits can hold four values at once. As you increase the number of qubits, the mechanism becomes really more powerful.

Todd Holmdahl, who oversees the quantum project at Microsoft, said he envisioned a quantum computer as something that could immediately find its way through a maze. A standard computer will attempt one way and get blocked and then try another and another, but a quantum computer can try all ways together in one go.

The trouble is that storing data in a quantum system for more than a short amount of time is very hard. This short “coherence time” leads to errors in calculations. But Mr. Schoelkopf and other physicists have worked to get to the bottom of this difficulty using what are called superconducting circuits. They have built qubits from materials that show quantum properties when cooled to tremendously low temperatures.

With this technique, they have shown that they can advance coherence times by 10 factor. This is known as Schoelkopf’s Law, the canon that says the number of transistors on computer chips will double every two years. Fun fact is that Schoelkopf’s Law started as a joke, but now scientists widely use it in a lot of research papers.

Quantum computing research

These superconducting circuits have become the main area of quantum computing research across the industry. One of Mr. Schoelkopf’s former students now is leading the IBM quantum computing program. The creator of Rigetti Computing studied with Michel Devoret, one of the other Yale professors behind Quantum Circuits.

Recently, after building a team of top researchers from the University of Santa Barbara and California, Google find out it is on the edge of using this method for building a mechanism that can achieve “quantum supremacy.” It is when a quantum machine do a task that your laptop or any other machine that based on the laws of classical physics can’t do.

Also, other research areas show promise. Microsoft, for example, is making a bet on anyons, special particles. But superconducting circuits seems to be the first systems that will accomplish something.

The scientists believe that quantum machines will ultimately analyze the interactions between physical molecules. Such process isn’t possible today, that’s why it is something that could fundamentally accelerate the development of new medications. Google and others also think that these systems can drastically accelerate Data Science, Data mining, machine learning.

A quantum computer could also know how to break the data encryption and decryption algorithms that protect the most sensitive government and corporate data. With so much value, it isn’t surprising that so many companies are trying to implement this technology, including start-ups like Quantum Circuits.

The majority of influence is stacked not in favor of the smaller players because the top companies have so much more money to spend on the problem. But start-ups have their pros, even in such an expensive and complex area of research. Sometimes, we can observe large teams inside huge companies doing nothing tremendously innovative. But small teams of extraordinary people can do outstanding things.

Quantum Circuits

Even though Quantum Circuits is using the same quantum method as its bigger competitors, Mr. Schoelkopf says that his company has an advantage because it is dealing with the problem in s different way. Instead of building one big quantum machine, they construct a chain of tiny machines that are (can be) networked together. It makes the process of correcting errors in quantum calculations easier, which is one of the main troubles in creating one of these complex machines.

But the thing is that each of the leading companies insists that they have an advantage and each is trumpeting its progress. But the truth is that a working machine is still years away in the future.

The promise of a huge quantum computer is extremely powerful. It will solve problems we can’t even envision right now!

Novelties for UI & UX for iPhone X

Novelties for UI & UX for iPhone X

The iPhone X differs from previous models with a large rounded screen with a wider range of colors and a face-recognition technology for the owner — Face ID.

Apple has already released the Human Interface Guidelines for the iPhone X. In this article, we would like to outline the main peculiarities of UI & UX for iPhone X according to Apple’s recommendations.

  1. If your application hides the status bar, Apple advises you to review this solution. Because the iPhone X has more vertical space. And the status bar is in the area that the application will probably not use.
  2. The aspect ratio of the iPhone X does not match the other models. So, if you use the same image for the background, it may appear cropped or not fitted with the screen. 
  3. Apple is advised to avoid explicit placement of interactive controls in the lowest zone of the screen and the corners. Moreover, the users will use the lowest screen area for gestures that return to the Home screen and allow them to switch between applications. After all, interacting with elements in the corners of the screen may be just awkward. 
  4. If possible, use system elements to build the UI. System UITabBarController, UINavigationController, UITableView and UICollectionView adapted automatically to the features of each iPhone model.
  5. Make a break. The iPhone X takes up the entire front panel of the device without indenting the edges. However, for ease of use, the user has certain indentations that you can anticipate in your application. If possible, do not get meaningful content right up to the edges of the screen: concentrate it in the so-called safe area.
  6. Let your content be limited to a rectangle. It’s a good practice to align content on a straight line from all sides. In particular, in the horizontal orientation, where there is no bar status: there must be an appropriate retreat on the side where the screen is not straight.
  7. Avoid conflicts with system gestures. Users expect these gestures to produce the same result regardless of which application is open. Swipe from the bottom of the screen up allows you to change the current application or opens the Home screen. Therefore, swipe from the upper right corner of the screen opens Control Center to the bottom, from the top left — Notifications. Exclusion is possible for games, but it is not desirable.
  8. A reminder of how to access the iPhone X home screen is always placed at the bottom of the screen above your application. Moreover, you can not hide rounded corners and this indicator, pausing them in black. Also, you can not specifically allocate them in any way.
  9. Allow the home screen to automatically hide the access indicator only if it is really necessary. For example, you create an application for watching videos or photos. In this case, the indicator will be hidden after the user does not interact with the screen for a few seconds. And it will appear again, and the user will only touch the screen.
  10. The iPhone X displays a color space of P3 that is different from the sRGB in a more rich color gamut. After all, take this into account when creating your application: you can use a wider range of colors.
  11. iPhone X uses to authorize Face ID. Do not forget about it and do not require a Touch ID from the iPhone X. Because the Touch ID is simply not there. And vice versa: do not require Face ID on previous versions of the iPhone.
  12. All iPhone X keyboards, including custom-made ones, always have the Emoji and Dictation buttons by default. After all, note that you should not duplicate these buttons in their custom keyboards.
I want to become a web developer: a detailed plan to learn JavaScript

I want to become a web developer: a detailed plan to learn JavaScript

Web development is one of the simplest and therefore popular direction among beginner programmers. In order to start working you just need any text editor and browser. You do not have to learn algorithms at an advanced level; there are many benefits. The key skill in web development is the knowledge of JavaScript.

Now JavaScript is developing very fast, and therefore it’s easy to get confused when learning a language. We offer you a curriculum with a convenient structure that covers all the necessary aspects of JavaScript and related technologies.

Why JavaScript?

First of all, you need to assess your level of knowledge and determine whether JavaScript suits you. It is possible to find through Web and pass a special test that can assess your potential in web development.

It is worth noting the openness of the language — companies that usually compete with each other, cooperate with the goal of developing JavaScript. The language is very flexible and will suit supporters of both the object-oriented and functional approach. A huge number of libraries and frameworks allows you to easily solve any tasks, and the server platform Node.js allows you to use the language not only in the browser, but also in the console. You can even write desktop and mobile applications: former using the framework Electron; latter using NativeScript or React Native.

Basics

First, you need to learn the basic concepts of JavaScript, web development and programming in general:

  • object-oriented JS constructors and factories, inheritance;
  • functional JS functions of higher order, closures, recursion;
  • jasmine test specifications;
  • the basics of HTML, CSS and jQuery.

Git

Git is a tool that developers need, so you should get to know it as early as possible. Here are the basic skills that you should have:

  • creating and moving files in directories;
  • initialization and commits in Git;
  • setting up repositories in GitHub.

Algorithms and data structures

Then it is worthwhile to study algorithms (in particular, the notion of complexity of algorithms), as well as basic data structures: linked lists, queues, stacks, binary search trees and hash tables.

Back-end

Node.js

10 years ago, developers used JavaScript for front-end development. Node.js expands the boundaries of JS. Node is just an environment for running JS code on the server side, so you do not have to learn the new syntax, but you’ll need to import and export files, break the code into modules, and use the npm package manager.

Servers, HTTP, Express.js

After studying Node it is worth continuing to get acquainted with back-end development and understand servers and routing. You can start with ports and protocols with an emphasis on HTTP, and then learn Express – Node library to handle requests.

Asynchronous JavaScript

Asynchrony is one of the distinctive features of JavaScript, although it creates a kind of split among developers: some like it, and some – hate it. You should understand the pros and cons of this technology. Start with the call stack, event loop and callbacks, and then go on to learn promises.

Databases, Schemas, Models and ORM

Database is one of the most important elements of web development. If your application needs to download or store any data that is not lost when updating the page, you will have to use the database. You need to learn to distinguish between relational and non-relational databases and understand the types of links. Then study SQL and get to know different database management systems. Moreover, ability to work with ORM will only benefit you as well.

Frontend

HTML and CSS

HTML and CSS are the foundation for any web developer. You do not need to know them perfectly, but you have to understand them. You can also learn some popular library (for example, Bootstrap) and a CSS preprocessor like Sass – it will help make CSS look like regular code. To simplify the work with HTML, you can choose one of the popular templating tools, for example, pug.

jQuery and DOM manipulation

By creating the appearance of the page with HTML and CSS, you will use event translators and the jQuery library to manage the DOM. Many people think that jQuery is useless and will soon be replaced by Angular and React, but it’s insanely popular, and so it’s worth knowing.

Chrome Developer Tools

It would be unforgivable to disregard the tools of Chrome, which give a huge number of opportunities. With them, you can learn DOM elements, debug through the console, track routes and much more.

AJAX

If you want the application not to reload the pages after each operation with the database, you will definitely need AJAX – it sends background asynchronous HTTP requests, the answers to which are updated only part of the display. You can work with AJAX through jQuery using the .ajax method.

ES6, Babel, Webpack

Now the main standard is ES6 (ES2015), but ES2016 is already adopted, and ES2017 is under development, so you should always be aware of updates and use them. Compatibility issues are solved with just a couple of tools:

  • Babel – compiles ES6-code (soon will support ES2016) in ES5, which is supported by all browsers. It even knows how to compile JSX / React-components, which makes it irreplaceable for any web developer;
  • Webpack – collects all your source files (images, fonts, style sheets, JS files, etc.) into a single dependency graph. It does not come in handy when creating small applications, but when working with React, its help is invaluable.

Authentication, sessions, cookies

You also need to understand how applications interact with users, process login and logout. To monitor the identity of the user during the session, cookies are used – small text files sent by the server to the browser in response to the HTTP request. And to provide communication database and authorization pages, you can use the library express-session.

Web Security

And, finally, it is worth paying attention to security. It is important to learn both attack methods and how to protect against them.