Dialogue series Vol.2

# A future that even Einstein could not have imagined is coming.

## To make information education still relevant 10 or 20 years later.

### So far, we have seen that in the field of information, where mathematical sciences are closely related, knowledge of physics as well as mathematics is necessary, e.g. due to the emergence of quantum computers.

It goes without saying that mathematics is necessary, as computer algorithms are basically built up from a series of mathematical logic, but when researching quantum computers, it is also common to consider calculation methods based on physical models, which could be called physics-inspired. In the past, computers used only CPUs for computation, but today's computers, including supercomputers, generally use GPUs, which excel at parallel computation. In the world of physics, originally independent elements run in parallel, so physical ideas naturally emerge in the construction of efficient parallel computation.

Indeed, when we look at algorithms such as AI and deep learning (deep learning), they seem to reflect a sense of physics. In physics, we often consider problems such as "bringing a certain physical quantity to the most suitable state = optimisation", and I feel that AI actively incorporates ideas similar to the optimisation problems in physics in its search for answers.

When I joined a semiconductor company, there was actually an atmosphere in which it was not necessary to think about difficult mathematical matters, and there was a time when I worried about how to make use of my own background in superstring theory and its mathematics. However, with the advent of machine learning and AI, and the coming of an era in which quantum computers are commonplace, people with such a mathematical background will rather be in demand. I think now is a great time for students interested in the mathematical field.

### What is the aim of the Mathematical and Quantum Information Course within the Faculty of Information and Mathematical Sciences?

The aim of the Mathematical and Quantum Information Course is not to build a quantum computer, but to give students a basic understanding of what a quantum computer is. Nowadays, it is possible to access quantum computers remotely, including those in other countries, so we would like to start with learning to understand quantum computers, including their theoretical aspects, while making use of such facilities. Quantum mechanics is certainly difficult to understand, but in my experience, the younger you are, the more flexible you can be in understanding it. I think that the longer you stay in classical physics, the more difficult it becomes to understand, and perhaps Einstein was an example of this: during the first and second years, you learn basic mathematics, such as linear algebra and analysis, and the next step is to get to know quantum information. I also intend to focus on industry-academia-government collaboration. It is in the real world that we find meaning in the theories we have learned, and in that sense I would like to work closely with companies that are using and researching quantum computers, and I would like to train myself to come into contact with examples of applications.

### If computers are changing, will the average working person who will use them also need a mathematical background?

These days, when processing something on a computer, various tools are provided as libraries and can be used without knowing what is in them. However, if you don't know what's going on in them, I don't think you can apply them flexibly in the way you want. I come from a background in particle theory, so I have a strong desire to pursue an understanding of its roots, but I also think it is important from that experience to have a solid understanding of the basic principles, not just to be able to use them. For example, machine learning is very exciting at the moment and is being used in companies, but only recently. And the current development and application of machine learning is supported by many researchers who originally came from backgrounds unrelated to machine learning. This means that in the next 10 or 20 years, there will definitely be a completely different technology from what we have now, and we will have to respond to it. At that time, if we understand the fundamentals of machine learning and quantum computing, we will be able to make use of our previous knowledge and use the new stuff immediately.

That is exactly what our Faculty of Information and Mathematical Sciences is aiming for. Of course, as a university, we value career support for our students and want to train them to have the knowledge and applied skills to deal with situations that will arise in the future, such as when something next to deep learning emerges some time after they have found employment, or the next one after that. What will certainly be needed then is basic mathematics and mathematical sense. That is why, at the newly opened Faculty of Information and Mathematical Sciences, we want students to study these things with an eye to the future.

## A generation of "quantum natives" will be born, just like the "digital natives".

### What is your view of education at the Faculty of Information and Mathematical Sciences from a business person like Mr Irie?

I have the impression from the proposed curriculum structure of the 'Mathematical and Quantum Information Course' that the course is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in both mathematics and information. I also have a good impression that the course is not only about quantum information, but also focuses on information and mathematical fields such as mathematical modelling. I mentioned that physical sense and ideas are useful, and I think one of the essences of this is found in mathematical modelling, and I hope that you will hone your sense of physics while studying quantum information and mathematical modelling. I also feel that in the future it will be important for students to express ideas they have proposed or seen or heard by writing their own programmes, devising algorithms and using computers to check their work. I hope that by learning both mathematics and information well, I will be able to become a person who can make the unknown technologies that will emerge in the future their own.

### What type of high school students would you like to see coming in?

Although I know that some high school students are estranged from mathematics in some environments, I still don't want them to shy away from mathematics. It is very important to have a sense of excitement, such as an interest in the mathematical phenomena behind nature and society. As long as you have the motivation, we have a system in place for you to learn well after enrolment, so I would like you to enrol with peace of mind. Undergraduate education that links mathematical concepts to quantum computers and quantum information, with an awareness of their application to information science, is a completely new approach, and we hope to have it well established by the time the university opens in 2024.

### What do you hope companies will have learnt at university?

We want people to study not only quantum computers, but also a wide range of existing computers. This is because by familiarising themselves with existing computers, they will know where and how to use quantum computers and how to connect them to real-world applications. I would like students to have learned the basics of machine learning, data science and computer science, and to have mastered the mathematics of quantum computers. Fortunately, we are now entering an era where everyone has access to real quantum computers. We have an environment where we can check quantum phenomena, which are not well understood by humans, while writing our own programmes. I believe that the number of "quantum natives", or people who can understand quantum movements from a sensory perspective, will increase rapidly in the future. I have great expectations for the future, and I hope that society will send out people who are equipped with a physical sense and can handle information with mathematical power.

In this sense, we can look forward to the development of more and more young people with such sensibilities, who are not bound by existing concepts and values.

## List of articles in dialogue

Dialogue Series Vol.2 A future is coming that not even Einstein could have imagined. ― The world of "information" changed by quantum mechanics. From there, the Faculty of Information and Mathematical Sciences learns from a future perspective.

Dialogue Series Vol.3 Updating the humanities and social sciences with the power of information mathematics! ― Information mathematics is a communication and hub that connects disciplines and people.

Dialogue Series Vol.4 A background in informatics and mathematics is the foundation of all science. ― Great Expectations for Integration with Diverse Fields