What does quantum mechanics have to do with factoring?

Quantum computer science will be introduced in the context of its most sensational algorithm: the highly efficient factoring routine discovered by Peter Shor. I will emphasize those features of Shor’s procedure that puzzled, surprised, and charmed me in the course of my own efforts to better understand how it does its magic. The subject offers some offbeat glimpses of both quantum mechanics and computation.


Slides (PDF)