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Standardizing the quantum world

Dr. Chen speaking to students on standards and certification
Dr. Chen speaking to students on standards and certification. (IQC)

On July 25-26 2013, young researchers learned about technology standards and certification processes in a two-day course developed by CryptoWorks21 researchers and collaborators.

The CryptoWorks21 Standards and Certification Course was presented by CryptoWorks21 and hosted by the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo. The 20 course attendees included graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and a research assistant professor from the University of Waterloo, University of Calgary, Université de Montréal and Perimeter Institute.

Course material was developed based on the experience of industry leaders in computer security and cryptography. "The CryptoWorks21 Standards and Certification Course offered us valuable insight into how cryptography progresses from abstract theory to real-world application," says Gus Gutoski, Perimeter Institute postdoctoral fellow.

The course was developed by CryptoWorks21 Professional Skills Working Group members Matthew Campagna and Alfred Menezes together with course lecturers Dr. Daniel Brown (Certicom Group), Dr. Lily Chen (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Prof. Norbert Lütkenhaus (IQC).

The course lecturers led students in topics including:

  • Standards overview
  • Standards and business models
  • Case studies:
    • Cryptography standards
    • Internet security
    • Cellular phone communication
  • Developing quantum key distribution standards

According to Will Stacey, IQC graduate student, the Standards and Certification Course "highlighted both the importance and the complexity of standards and certification processes, especially in a rapidly developing quantum world," allowing students to bridge the gap between scientific research and industrial applications.

"Adopting new technology is a complex process," says Pan Palittapongarnpim, Institute for Quantum Science and Technology graduate student. "As researchers, it is important to keep it in mind when we try to solve real-world problems."