The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center grows rapidly in size and scope

ARMONK, NY—When IBM launched the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center last September, our goal was to collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a way that would advance not only quantum information science, but also STEM-based opportunities for these traditionally underrepresented communities. We are proud to report that this initiative in the quantum computing field is off to a fast start, as HBCUs, students, and faculty begin to explore the Center’s vast potential.

Membership has nearly doubled in less than six months to a total of 23 HBCUs. We have created a community of students and faculty, including the start of an undergraduate research program where students are exploring quantum computation with Qiskit, and have contributed to a pre-print on arXiv that investigates the use of machine learning and quantum computing to better understand unknown quantum systems.

Expanding the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center

Today, we’ve announced a slate of new members for the Center, with 10 historically Black colleges and universities joining the Center’s 13 founding institutions. The new schools (in alphabetical order) are:

Distinguished faculty

In addition to this rapid growth, we are honored to have distinguished faculty as members of the Center, including Howard University associate professor of physics Thomas Searles, winner of the inaugural Joseph A. Johnson III Award for Excellence; Serena Eley, an assistant professor of physics at the Colorado School of Mines and head of the Eley Quantum Materials Group; and Anderson Sunda-Meya, an associate professor of physics at Xavier University of Louisiana and recipient of the 2021 American Physical Society Excellence in Physics Education Award.

Professors Eley and Searles have also received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the organization’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The program supports early-career faculty who have the potential to become academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in their department or organization.

Inclusion from the start

The Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines. IBM’s goals are to build a sustainable quantum research and education program by increasing the number of Black students educated in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), strengthening research efforts of faculty at HBCUs in QISE, and providing opportunities for scholarship, fellowships, and internships for HBCU undergraduate and graduate students.

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center’s mission is to educate, foster collaboration on joint research, and ultimately create a more diverse quantum-ready workforce for students studying everything from physics and chemistry to computer science and business. The Center’s members collaborate across their respective institutions, and are building regional interactions to strengthen both faculty and student engagement.

Black and Latinx students leave STEM majors at nearly twice the rate of white students, due largely to the lack of a support structure and access to resources as they pursue their academic goals, according to EAB, a Washington-based education research company. We see the need for an inclusive, supportive space where these students and their professors are able to collaborate and explore emerging technologies. This collaboration with HBCUs, which educate 27 percent of African American graduates with STEM degrees, will increase opportunities for faculty and students to identify and launch successful careers in the budding field of quantum computing.

Since IBM first put a quantum computer on the cloud almost five years ago, it has pushed the boundaries of both access and enablement for quantum computation at a global scale. One example is our Qiskit Global Summer School, which delivered an undergraduate-level course on quantum algorithms to a global audience of over 4,000 students in over 100 countries. Another example is our partnership with The Coding School expanding quantum education to high schools by educating thousands of students around the world for a full academic year.

Read more on Qiskit Medium: How Howard University Students Are Hoping to Change the Future of Quantum Computing

We know that early touch points with new technology can help increase the likelihood of capturing interest in the subject and is critical for underrepresented communities. In return, we envision quantum computing benefitting greatly from a diverse community of researchers and industry professionals that can help advance the technology and identify commercial applications.

Looking forward

As the Center continues to develop, we are measuring success on a number of metrics, including student engagement, talent and workforce development, and research capacity. We hope to apply these best practices as we build the quantum workforce, especially at community colleges and undergraduate and minority-serving institutions, which all serve traditionally underrepresented communities in STEM.

Source and photo credits: IBM | February 22, 2021 | Written by: Dr.  Kayla Lee and Benita Zazueta

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IBM Establishes First Quantum Education and Research Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

ARMONK, NY―This week, IBM announced its first IBM Quantum education and research initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), aimed at driving a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce. Led by Howard University and 12 additional HBCUs, the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center will offer access to its quantum computers, as well as collaboration on academic, education, and community outreach programs.

In addition, as part of the company’s continued efforts around diversity and inclusion, IBM will make a $100M investment in technology, assets, resources and skills development through partnerships with additional HBCUs through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.

Driving Diversity and Inclusion in Quantum Computing 

“We believe that in order to expand opportunity for diverse populations, we need a diverse talent pipeline of the next generation of tech leaders from HBCUs. Diversity and inclusion is what fuels innovation and students from HBCUs will be positioned to play a significant part of what will drive innovations for the future like quantum computing, cloud and artificial intelligence,” said Carla Grant Pickens, Chief Global Diversity & Inclusion Officer, IBM.

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The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines for the quantum future. It will emphasize the power of community and focus on developing students through support and funding for research opportunities, curriculum development, workforce advocacy, and special projects.

“Diversity is a source of competitive advantage, essential to create a thriving quantum industry,” said Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research. “We could not be more excited about partnering with our HBCU colleagues to help educate and empower the first generation of quantum computing native students and researchers.”

The 13 HBCUs intending to participate in the Quantum Center were prioritized based on their research and education focus in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and other STEM fields. They include: Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Coppin State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Southern University, Texas Southern University, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana. 

“Howard University has prioritized our efforts to support our students’ pathway to STEM fields for many years with exciting results as we witness more and more graduates becoming researchers, scientists and engineers with renown national companies. Our faculty and students look forward to collaborating with our peer institutions through the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center. We’re excited to share best practices and work together to prepare students to participate in a quantum-ready workforce,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA.

For more about the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, read HBCU Center Driving Diversity and Inclusion in Quantum Computing.

Investing in Under-Represented Talent to Drive Innovation

As part of the Skills Academy Academic Initiative in Global University Programs, a multi-year program, IBM is donating more than $100M in assets, including university guests lectures, curriculum content, digital badges, software and faculty training to select HBCUs by the end of 2020. The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive, integrated program designed to create a foundation of diverse and high demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the workplace. The learning tracks address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, design thinking and quantum computing.

The HBCUs who are part of the Skills Academy Academic  Initiative include: Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Southern University System, Stillman College, Virginia State and West Virginia State University. 

The response to combating systemic racism in the US must be timely, strategic and more than a statement of support. The response needs to be tangible action. IBM’s investment in HBCUs is part of the company’s efforts around social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to unlock economic opportunity and prosperity.

To learn more about IBM’s 100 years of work on diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace, visit: https://www.ibm.com/employment/inclusion/

Source and photos: IBM

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CES 2021 Moves to an All-Digital Experience

ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced CES 2021®  — January 6-9, 2021 — will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. The new format will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world.

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“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it’s just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences.”

CES 2021 will be a new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology. This highly personalized experience will bring a global event to the comfort and safety of your home or office.

For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation. CTA’s goal for CES 2021 is to provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships, while prioritizing health and safety. Members of the tech community thrive by coming together, sharing ideas and introducing products that will shape our future.

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Implementing Diversity from the Top” at CES 2020.  (L-R) Tiffany Moore, CTA; Carmalita Yeizman, Bosch; Lesley Slaton Brown, HP; Ben Hasan, Walmart. © 2020 bdpatoday

Mark your calendars for the first week in January and be on the lookout for more exciting news about CES 2021. CES plans to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.

Source and photos: CTA and BDPA

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Select here to pre-register for #vBDPA2020

NIST Reports on Computer Systems Technology

WASHINGTON—The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) promotes the U.S. economy and public welfare by providing technical leadership for the Nation’s measurement and standards infrastructure. ITL develops tests, test methods, reference data, proof of concept implementations, and technical analyses to advance the development and productive

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use of information technology. ITL’s responsibilities include the development of management, administrative, technical, and physical standards and guidelines for the cost-effective security and privacy of other than national security-related information in federal information systems.

NIST is in the process of selecting one or more public-key cryptographic algorithms through a public competition-like process. The new public-key cryptography standards will specify one or more additional digital signature, public-key encryption, and key-establishment algorithms to augment FIPS 186-4, Digital Signature Standard (DSS), as well as special publications SP 800-56A Revision 2, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key Establishment Schemes Using Discrete Logarithm Cryptography, and SP 800-56B, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key-Establishment Schemes Using Integer Factorization. It is intended that these algorithms will be capable of protecting sensitive information well into the foreseeable future, including after the advent of quantum computers.

Select here to view or download a Status Report.

—Information source: NIST.gov

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What is Quantum Computing?

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bdpatoday — According to IBM’s Think Academy, quantum computing has the potential to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. So how are quantum computers different from traditional computers and Macs we are using now?

Bits vs. Qubits
Rather than processing data like an ordinary computer with “bits” that can be either 1 or 0, quantum computers process data with devices called “qubits” that can be 1, 0, or both simultaneously—a phenomenon called “superposition.” This property and another property known as “entanglement” (qubits are not independent of each other and therefore can influence neighboring qubits) gives quantum computers new, unique, and very powerful capabilities for STEM and cyber.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), quantum computers offer one of the first new ways of computing in more than 60 years. Because there’s a limit to how many transistors fit on a chip, there are physical bounds on how powerful even the best classical computers can be.

Quantum computers should be able to reach well beyond these confines. In particular, simulations on classical computers cannot efficiently simulate quantum systems. These are systems that are so small that they follow the laws of quantum physics instead of classical physics. One example of this type of system is the relationship between electrons in large molecules. How these large electron systems act determines superconductivity, magnetism, and other important phenomena. As Pavel Lougovski, leader of one of three DOE national laboratory projects at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) said, “I’m interested in understanding how quantum systems behave. To me, there is a no-brainer there.”

icymi010519Quantum computers may be able to solve other currently unsolvable problems across STEM industries as well. Modeling the process by which enzymes in bacteria “fix” nitrogen involves so many different chemical interactions that it overwhelms classical computers’ capabilities. Solving this problem could lead to major breakthroughs in making ammonia production – which uses a tremendous amount of energy – far more efficient. Quantum computers could potentially reduce the time it takes to run these simulations from billions of years to only a few minutes.

A new quantum technology initiative for the United States (bdpatoday | ICYMI 01.05.09) recently was signed in to law.

— Sources: IBM, Department of Energy (DOE), and BDPA

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BDPA EARTH DAY TECH SUMMIT EVENTS 2019
#CyberEarth19

April 19-20th and April 22nd
Washington, D.C./Central Maryland
Contact via email: events@bdpadc.org | kia@bdpadc.org
Call for Papers, STEM presenters, and new mission-partners along with table and title sponsors @ BDPADC.org

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CES 2019 unveils Industry’s latest transformative technologies

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LAS VEGAS, NV — CES® 2019 opened this week, unveiling the latest transformative technologies that will redefine industries.

LG Electronics President and CTO Dr. I.P. Park kicked off the first keynote of 2019 with ambitions to create a world of connected, intuitive AI-powered technologies that will seamlessly work in unison to deliver unparalleled customer experience in all areas of life.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ President and CEO Gary Shapiro and CES Executive Vice President Karen Chupka launched Day 1 of CES 2019 along with IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty, sharing insights on how technology is significantly improving the way businesses operate and how people live.

Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg kept the opening day excitement going in the afternoon with a keynote exploring the impact of 5G on improving education, aiding first responders and more.

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Beginning Sunday, BDPA Members, BDPA Student Members, bdpatoday staffers, and Interns  (above) arrived to attend Media Day events.  CES Unveiled Las Vegas, which exclusively launched for the media Sunday night, previewed industry’s latest announcements with award-winning innovations arriving later in the week on convention floors at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and adjacent hotel exhibit halls.

Follow bdpatoday and PTTV (Popular Technology TV) throughout CES on the world’s largest technology stage via Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for the latest.

→ https://bdpatoday.com
→ https://populartechnology.tv
→ https://instagram.com/bdpatoday
→ https://twitter.com/bdpatoday
→ https://youtube.com/bdpatoday

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Partner, embrace, and support local BDPA Chapter programs (BDPA.org) and BDPA youth technology summits (above)  featuring 5G, AI, XR, data sciencecyber, autonomous systems, and quantum computing projects with coding competitions or research papers.

— Sources: CTA and BDPA
Photos © 2019 bdpatoday

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BDPA EARTH DAY TECH SUMMIT EVENTS 2019
#CyberEarth19

April 19-20th and April 22nd
Washington, D.C./Central Maryland
Contact: events@bdpadc.org | kia@bdpadc.org

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