What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing (QC) is an emerging field in computer science that makes use of the principles of quantum mechanics to design a new form of specialized hardware and software that has capabilities not present in traditional computers. While quantum computing is in an experimental stage, there is considerable activity and investment around its development. In quantum computing, as with the “bit” in classical computing, the basic unit of information is the “qubit,” which may exist in a superposition of states and allows for probabilistic approaches to computation. In this computational environment, the development of quantum algorithms enables a quantum computer to perform very rapid and efficient calculations.
Computing experts believe that quantum computing at a practical level is at least 5-10 years away, as numerous technical challenges have not yet been resolved. However, progress in the field is underway and current quantum computers (and QC simulators) are demonstrating that they can handle voluminous information and solve complex problems very quickly. Quantum computers are not designed to replace classical computers, but they are expected to provide unique capabilities in handling complicated, data-intensive challenges that could not be solved by current computers on a reasonable time-scale, a concept known as “quantum supremacy.”
How is Quantum Computing Used in Finance?
As of the early 2020s, several large investment banks and hedge funds are exploring use cases for quantum computing in finance. Proposed applications range from pricing, asset allocation, and portfolio optimization to cryptography. Goldman Sachs, for example, is assessing how quantum computing might be used to price complex derivatives, a costly and computationally intensive task for investment banks. Another leading bank examining the potential for quantum computing, JP Morgan, is also focusing on speed and opportunities for cost savings in the future. Cryptography is an important consideration for all financial institutions; as quantum computing evolves, they will need to ensure the protection of systems from hackers. At this stage, quantum computing has appeal for the financial elite, where the largest, best-funded firms can experiment with the new technology. However, like high frequency trading in the early 2000s, it may play an increasingly important role in the broader financial markets over time. Due to their advanced skill sets in mathematics and computing technologies, quantitative finance professionals are likely to see the impacts of QC first. Some are now observing and experimenting with quantum computing hardware and programming languages as part of an early adoption cycle in the industry.
Explore the CQF blog, Quant Squared: Quantum Computing in Quant Finance, to find out more about how quantum computing is used in finance.
The CQF and Quantum Computing
Quantum computing is a highly complex field and technologists working directly to advance the industry tend to have advanced degrees in computer science, engineering, and physics. However, for those coming from the field of finance, there are several options, from formal academic degree programs to introductions to quantum computing through online course offerings.
The Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) focuses on the development of mathematical foundations, financial knowledge, and programming skills that are in great demand in the financial industry today. The curriculum covers the theory and practical implementation of quantitative finance techniques and includes in-depth explorations of financial models for some of the major asset classes: equities, fixed income, derivatives, and structured products. In 2017, the course expanded its reach on the programming front, with the addition of two Data Science and Machine Learning modules that enable delegates to gain intensive hands-on programming experience with Python.
The CQF syllabus is always evolving in consultation with senior alumni and faculty to ensure it always addresses the most interesting developments in the financial industry. In January 2022, a lecture on Quantum Computing in Finance was added to module 5 of the qualification, covering the following topics:
- Defining quantum computing
- Qubits, quantum gates, and quantum circuits
- Constructing a simple quantum circuit online using the IBM Quantum Experience
- Learning how to write a quantum program using the Python module Qiskit
- Reviewing select financial applications, including European Call Options
There is also an advanced elective on the subject at the end of the qualification for delegates that want to explore the subject further.
With over 8000 delegates and alumni, the CQF is trusted by professionals worldwide. The CQF delivers a master's level education in six months, online and part-time It is a great alternative for busy professionals who want to improve their skills while actively pursuing their careers. A delegate's learning journey does not end after they graduate. After completing the program, CQF alumni receive permanent access to 900+ hours of additional educational lectures through the CQF's Lifelong Learning platform at no additional cost.
Find out more about the CQF
Quantum computing applications in finance are under development. For those who are intrigued by the possibilities, now is the time to engage with this exciting field. Get ahead in quantum computing with the CQF program. Download our brochure or register for an information session and find out how the CQF might benefit you.