Charles Babbage is famous for two things: He invented computers and he never built them. While that sounds like an inventor’s version of “I’m invisible, but only if you close your eyes,” it’s actually true. After designing the steam-powered calculating machine known as The Difference Engine, Babbage envisioned a machine that would prove to be the unrealized would-be predecessor to the general purpose modern computer: The Analytical Engine. Dr. Doron Swade joins us to take us on a tour of the failure, triumph and speculation that have characterized Babbage’s story, including the often misunderstood story of the legendary Ada Lovelace.
We then dive into one of the most exciting 100-year leaps being attempted today via the reality-bending world of quantum computing. Scott sits down with multi-award-winning quantum physicist Dr. Shohini Ghose of Wilfrid Laurier University to talk about the principles that make quantum computing possible, the potential it has to transform the world, and what it will take to bring the computing technology of the future closer to the present day.