Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Computer Science

First Advisor

Matthew Evett, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William Sverdlik, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Augustine Ikeji, Ph.D.


Quantum Computing has been a part of computer science literature since the 1960s, but the call for quantum mechanical-based computation came when renowned theoretical physicist Richard Feynman said, “… nature isn't classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you'd better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly it's a wonderful problem, because it doesn't look so easy.” (Feynman, 486) His words inspired people to begin work on the project immediately. Although the best ideas have not yet been found, there is much active research and experimentation going on to learn how best to use these new quantum systems. The more computer scientists understand quantum computing, the better the algorithms become, although they have yet to create numerous future applications. How did quantum computing develop? A related question is, How do people use quantum computing in practical applications? Research suggests quantum computing developed in the early 1980s after the call came from Richard Feynman, and numerous researchers such as David Deutsch, Peter Shor, and Lov Grover outlined theoretical aspects of the field, defined fundamental algorithms, and predicted a quantum advantage providing exponential speedup over classical algorithms. This project provides historical context and pertinent background information. Computer scientists can use quantum computing for their own research and to extend the range of quantum computing itself. An experiment performed with the IBM resource known as QISKit shows how members of the public can perform their own practical applications of quantum computing, while also illustrating limitations that exist in the field of quantum computers.