Vaira Vike-Freiberga at TEDxRiga 2013

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga is a Latvian social and political activist, a scientist, a professor and an honorary doctor in several universities. After returning from exile in Canada, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga took charge of the Latvian Institute where she worked until becoming the president of Latvia.

Her talk is about the Latvian Identity that has led her across six different countries on three continents with five different languages till she returned back and became the president of Latvia in spite she left Latvia at the age of 6 and returned only at the age of 60.

Andris Ambainis at TEDxRiga 2013

Andris is a computer scientist active in the fields of quantum information theory and quantum computing. His valuable scientific input into quantum computer theory makes him one of the world’s leading scientists in this field. Andris has invented several of world’s first algorithms for quantum computers, including a method to show that some computing problems are hard to solve even with a quantum computer. He is the first Latvian scientist to receive a grant for further research in quantum computing from the European Research Council — an organisation that supports Europe’s best scientists.

Quantum computers are a radically different approach to computing. They use quantum physics (physical laws that work on the level of individual atoms) to achieve faster computing or more secure data transmission. In this talk, Andris Ambainis describes what quantum computers will be able to do, how they work and why building a quantum computer has become one of central problems in physics.