Chris Bernhardt

Chris Bernhardt is Professor of Mathematics at Fairfield University and the author of Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science (MIT Press).

  • Quantum Computing for Everyone

    Quantum Computing for Everyone

    Chris Bernhardt

    An accessible introduction to an exciting new area in computation, explaining such topics as qubits, entanglement, and quantum teleportation for the general reader.

    Quantum computing is a beautiful fusion of quantum physics and computer science, incorporating some of the most stunning ideas from twentieth-century physics into an entirely new way of thinking about computation. In this book, Chris Bernhardt offers an introduction to quantum computing that is accessible to anyone who is comfortable with high school mathematics. He explains qubits, entanglement, quantum teleportation, quantum algorithms, and other quantum-related topics as clearly as possible for the general reader. Bernhardt, a mathematician himself, simplifies the mathematics as much as he can and provides elementary examples that illustrate both how the math works and what it means.

    Bernhardt introduces the basic unit of quantum computing, the qubit, and explains how the qubit can be measured; discusses entanglement—which, he says, is easier to describe mathematically than verbally—and what it means when two qubits are entangled (citing Einstein's characterization of what happens when the measurement of one entangled qubit affects the second as “spooky action at a distance”); and introduces quantum cryptography. He recaps standard topics in classical computing—bits, gates, and logic—and describes Edward Fredkin's ingenious billiard ball computer. He defines quantum gates, considers the speed of quantum algorithms, and describes the building of quantum computers. By the end of the book, readers understand that quantum computing and classical computing are not two distinct disciplines, and that quantum computing is the fundamental form of computing. The basic unit of computation is the qubit, not the bit.

    • Hardcover $24.95 £20.00
  • Turing's Vision

    Turing's Vision

    The Birth of Computer Science

    Chris Bernhardt

    Turing's fascinating and remarkable theory, which now forms the basis of computer science, explained for the general reader.

    In 1936, when he was just twenty-four years old, Alan Turing wrote a remarkable paper in which he outlined the theory of computation, laying out the ideas that underlie all modern computers. This groundbreaking and powerful theory now forms the basis of computer science. In Turing's Vision, Chris Bernhardt explains the theory, Turing's most important contribution, for the general reader. Bernhardt argues that the strength of Turing's theory is its simplicity, and that, explained in a straightforward manner, it is eminently understandable by the nonspecialist. As Marvin Minsky writes, “The sheer simplicity of the theory's foundation and extraordinary short path from this foundation to its logical and surprising conclusions give the theory a mathematical beauty that alone guarantees it a permanent place in computer theory.” Bernhardt begins with the foundation and systematically builds to the surprising conclusions. He also views Turing's theory in the context of mathematical history, other views of computation (including those of Alonzo Church), Turing's later work, and the birth of the modern computer.

    In the paper, “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem,” Turing thinks carefully about how humans perform computation, breaking it down into a sequence of steps, and then constructs theoretical machines capable of performing each step. Turing wanted to show that there were problems that were beyond any computer's ability to solve; in particular, he wanted to find a decision problem that he could prove was undecidable. To explain Turing's ideas, Bernhardt examines three well-known decision problems to explore the concept of undecidability; investigates theoretical computing machines, including Turing machines; explains universal machines; and proves that certain problems are undecidable, including Turing's problem concerning computable numbers.

    • Hardcover $26.95 £21.95
    • Paperback $18.95 £14.99