Fifth year student’s quantum computing project wins SciFest 2018

Adam Kelly, SciFest 2018 winner
Adam Kelly, SciFest 2018 winner

Adam Kelly to represent Ireland at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair next year

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12 November 2018 | 0

Adam Kelly, a fifth year student from Skerries Community College, was named the overall winner at SciFest 2018 for his open source solution to stimulating quantum computing and will go on to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona next year.

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Boston Scientific and Intel Ireland, SciFest is an all-island STEM initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second level students.

Large scale quantum computers are not yet widely available, this means the development of quantum computers and algorithms requires fast, accurate stimulations. Adam developed just that, an open source solution to quantum computing which was up to 15 times faster than conventional stimulators. His solution can be used by anyone in their own experiments with ease. This software has direct applications in the verification of quantum devices, quantum algorithm design and investigations of quantum supremacy.

This year saw more than 10,000 students participating in local and regional SciFest STEM fairs across the country. Since its inception in 2008, more than 60,000 students have participated in the competition, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 23% in participation. Kelly was one of 64 students who went on to exhibit 37 STEM projects at the national final.

This year’s SciFest also saw the introduction of the Broadcom Masters award that saw five junior cycle students, ranging in age from 12 to 14, compete for the opportunity to participate in the Broadcom Masters programme which includes attendance at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair next year. The inaugural award was won by year old Éabha Kenny, from Scoil Muire gan Smál, Convent of Mercy, Roscommon Town, Roscommon.

Sheila Porter, SciFest founder and CEO, said: “It is fantastic to see the level of talent, enthusiasm and determination on display today from the students. SciFest gives students of all abilities and backgrounds the opportunity to develop their research, problem solving, critical thinking and presentation skills. We take pride in creating the biggest, most inclusive student science event possible.”

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