Programming for Quantum 101

How to start exploring, testing, and running Python apps on quantum today.

Murray Thom

Beginners Development Jupyter Open-Source Python Skills

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Until recently, quantum development was largely restricted to academic researchers and physicists with direct access to physical quantum systems. Today, however, the cloud has opened up a new world of application environments accessible by anyone with an interest in programming from quantum computers. As business investment in quantum grows, so does the developer community. Improvements in open-source tools, software, and resources are giving programmers the ability to experiment, test, and run Python applications on live quantum computers in real-time via their browsers. Quantum mechanical expertise or backing from a large organization is no longer required.

Murray Thom is the VP of Product at D-Wave Systems and has spent the past nearly 20 years dedicated to developing quantum application development systems, software, and tools. He also works directly with customers and developers to identify, test, and develop applications. In this session, Murray will talk about the growing open source Python & Jupyter quantum developer ecosystem, how to approach developing applications for quantum systems, and provide examples of early applications that have come out of the quantum developer ecosystem already — from gaming, to optimization problems, to drug discovery.

Type: Talk (30 mins); Python level: Beginner; Domain level: Beginner

Murray Thom


Murray Thom is Vice President of Product Management, responsible for the Leap quantum application environment, Ocean tools, system software, and documentation. Previously Murray led a team engaged in customer projects related to algorithms, applications, and performance testing. Since joining the company in 2002 Murray has been involved in all aspects of systems engineering and processor development for D-Wave's quantum computers. Some of these project areas include cryogenic refrigeration systems, superconducting electrical filters, cryogenic chip packaging, magnetic screening and shielding, QPU signals, and automated test systems.