I know that the theoretical computer science aspect of quantum computation was a very niche subject until the 1994 discovery of Shor's algorithm, which lead to a huge increase of interest in the topic. Very roughly, what fraction of theoretical computer science researchers in a typical CS department have published any research on quantum computation or quantum complexity theory? Is it a big part of the field of TCS today, or is still considered a rather niche subject?

  • Define "a typical CS department". – Dan Romik Aug 22 '17 at 20:33
  • @DanRomik Say, a department whose fraction of researchers studying quantum computation is close to the average fraction across all university CS departments with five or more researchers specializing in TCS. – tparker Aug 22 '17 at 20:48
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    The problem is that none of the terms "university", "CS department", "researchers specializing in TCS" (or individually "researcher", "specializing in" and "TCS" for that matter) are particularly well-defined. Well, I'll grant you that "five or more" does have a precise meaning... Regardless, I'm sorry to say it but your question is unanswerable in its present form. – Dan Romik Aug 22 '17 at 21:01
  • Quantum computing research isn't limited to computer science. Researchers could also be in applied mathematics departments (U Waterloo for example) or physics (yale). So I'm not certain the statistical data lies where you think it does. – scrappedcola Aug 22 '17 at 21:20
  • @DanRomik Agreed, but I'm not looking for three significant figures of precision. I bet the majority of TCS researchers (under any reasonable definition) would agree whether the answer is, say, below 1/3, between 1/3 and 2/3, or above 2/3 (although I'm not sure which one they'd pick). – tparker Aug 22 '17 at 22:17

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