Quantum concept

Quantum coding using Qiskit showcased at UCD quantum computing hackathon

IBM collaboration signals vibrant Irish ecosystem
Image: Stockfresh

28 September 2020

Building upon the Quantum Technologies Colloquium held last year by UCD and IBM Research Europe in Ireland, UCD and IBM collaborated again to host the 2020 Quantum Computing Hackathon.

The virtual event focused on the use of the Qiskit open source software framework founded by IBM for writing code for quantum computers. Quantum computers have the potential to power major breakthroughs in scientific fields including chemistry, optmisation and artificial intelligence, as well as financial services.

The Hackathon had a two-phase format with the initial phase purely focused on team formation and the identification of ideas to explore. In phase two, registered teams of students, academic staff, and industry representatives entered into the ‘hacking phase’ where teams began working on their ideas using Qiskit. Throughout the event coaches from IBM Research Europe in Ireland and UCD with expertise in quantum coding were on-hand for all teams.




The event gave teams the opportunity to experience first-hand the potential the open-source quantum computing framework has to offer to both academia and industry through a team-oriented Qiskit Hackathon exercise.

Vice President for Research, Innovation & Impact at UCD Prof Orla Feely said: “This connection is of great importance to the university and has produced several significant assets including the SFI Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning, where IBM is technology partner, and a Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund for QCoIr Quantum Computing in Ireland, awarded to an IBM-led consortium with UCD spin-out Equal1. Quantum computing is an increasingly important field of study that we are committed to supporting.”

Senior manager AI & Quantum at IBM Research Europe in Ireland Dr Martin Mevissen said: “Quantum computing offers the opportunity to manipulate information in a fundamentally different way and may allow us to tackle computationally challenging problems beyond the capability of current information technology. An event like this hackathon hosted by UCD is crucial to further develop skills in quantum computing in Ireland, and contributes to building out the Irish ecosystem for quantum computing.”

TechCentral Reporters

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