Maynooth conference: towards practical programming in quantum computing
23 January 2019 | 0
Work has begun at the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) on programming quantum computing platforms for practical use-cases.
Speaking at the second All Ireland Conference on Quantum Technologies in Maynooth University, Dr Venkatesh Kannan, Novel Technologies Activities lead at the centre, outlined current activities.
“Moving forward, we will be working on a variety of quantum computing platforms – hardware devices and software simulators – and developing quantum software on them by leveraging the plethora of application domains in which we already work,” said Dr Kannan.
“ICHEC’s quantum programming efforts are aimed at evaluating the programmability of different quantum platforms that are out there, and understanding the types and sizes of problems that they can currently solve.”
While many enterprises, such as Intel, IBM, Google, and others, have been developing physical quantum computing devices, software quantum simulators are another line of quantum computing platforms. One project at the ICHEC will use a software quantum simulator to conduct research in Natural Language Processing (NLP), the computing field involved with the interactions between computers and human languages. In particular, the project will focus on an aspect of NLP known as compositional semantics algorithms, which describes how information flows between words in a sentence to determine the sentence’s meaning.
“With the immediate availability of quantum simulators, it is essential that we develop the software ecosystem and programming expertise to target quantum platforms. It is crucial to do this simultaneously with ongoing efforts for developing larger-scale, reliable and commercially deployable quantum computers in the next decade,” said Dr Kannan.
“At ICHEC we are pioneering the efforts in programming quantum systems in Ireland.”
Other speakers at conference included Professor Tommaso Calarco of Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany; Stephen O’Reilly, Enterprise Ireland’s National Delegate and National Contact Point for H2020, ICT and FET; and Dr Jiri Vala, of the Department of Theoretical Physics, National University of Ireland Maynooth, who organised the event.