Making understanding quantum computers easier

IBM collaborates with Aalto University and the University of Turku to develop new transformative tools for teaching and outreach about quantum technologies
Quantum Garden

A university collaboration between IBM and Aalto and Turku universities aims to build easy-to-use open source content to improve knowledge and intuition of quantum phenomena, like quantum computing and quantum technologies. The goal is to develop videos, games, and written material that will lower barriers for anyone wanting to take a look at what quantum technologies actually are. The playful content will provide a native platform for the younger generations to explore the complex and counter-intuitive concepts in quantum physics and quantum computing. The project is part of the Centre for Quantum Engineering’s (CQE) activities at Aalto University.

‘We’re creating an interactive online mnemonic medium, intended to augment human memory, which incorporates and combines videos, short games, text, simple math, and computer programs, all with the aim of building the knowledge (and intuition even!) of quantum phenomena.’ says Professor Sabrina Maniscalco, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Turku, Adjunct Professor at Aalto University and the Vice-Director of the national centre of excellence, Quantum Technology Finland.

Strengthening the quantum ecosystem in Finland

The collaboration between IBM, Aalto University and the University of Turku realizes the objectives of IBMs Q Network, announced in July this year. The Q network aims to accelerate joint research in quantum computing and help train students for careers in quantum technology. Examples of future direction of quantum computing application research and exploration by these universities include:

  • Aalto university plans to work with IBM researchers to extend the quantum technology ecosystem in Finland. This intended collaboration in education, outreach and science will strengthen Aalto's capabilities in quantum computing.
  • University of Turku plans to investigate quantum computation and simulation research, as well as use the IBM Q Experience for outreach and specialized education focused on quantum algorithms, quantum and classical programming, and fundamental quantum physics.

‘We are really enthusiastic about this new university collaboration initiative related to Quantum here in Finland. Collaboration with academic community is vital to the growth of a 'quantum ready' ecosystem, that involves scientists, professors, developers, students, and even younger generations. Developing quantum computing skills and expertise will lead to discovery of new innovations and increase the knowledge and skills of all age groups in this new arena’ says Maarit Palo, Director of IBM University programs in Nordics and Corporate Citizenship, Governmental Affairs in Finland.

Past success

The collaboration and co-operation will build upon the successes that the Quantum Play team, lead by Professor Maniscalco, have already had in the field of public outreach with Quantum Technology. Quantum Play, supported by the CQE, the European Commission, the University of Turku, and IBM were behind the Quantum Garden interactive art installation that has travelled the world; the Quantum Wheel game jam at Allas Sea Pool which gave researchers and the public the chance to discuss quantum research and develop games in a fun setting; and the QuEx exhibition that ran in Dipoli in October 2019 and showcased videos, artistic installations, demonstrations and more.

Minna Günes

Department of Applied Physics
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