Published: 31st May 2021
IIT Madras and IBM to collaborate on quantum computing education and research
India has witnessed a huge spurt of activity in the quantum science and technology domain in the last few years, backed by Government initiatives such as a National Mission on Quantum Technologies
Indian Institute of Technology Madras announced its collaboration with IBM on Quantum Computing education and research. This collaboration will provide IIT Madras faculty, researchers, and students with access to IBM’s quantum systems and tools over IBM Cloud to accelerate joint research in quantum computing, and develop curricula to help prepare students for careers that will be influenced by this next era of computing, across science and business.
The Quantum Computing Lab courses jointly taught by IIT Madras faculty and IBM researchers will include hands-on lab sessions on the IBM quantum systems and will augment existing courses on quantum information and computing. IBM will provide the learning resources, tools, and systems access needed by the faculty and students. India has witnessed a huge spurt of activity in the quantum science and technology domain over the last few years, backed by Government initiatives including the ‘Quantum Enabled Science and Technologies’ (QuEST) program and the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NMQTA).
The Metropolitan Area Quantum Access Network (MAQAN), and the Centre for Field Programmable Photonic Gate Arrays (FPPGAs) are large initiatives at IIT Madras, supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India. Highlighting the unique aspects of this collaboration with IIT Madras, Dr Gargi Dasgupta, Director, IBM Research India, said, “Quantum computing is fast emerging as one of the disruptive technologies of our times. IBM is committed to supporting educators like IIT Madras who are shaping the next generation of quantum innovators through various initiatives and programs.”
Elaborating on the importance of Quantum Technology, Professor Anil Prabhakar, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “Quantum computing offers us the opportunity to solve computationally intractable problems. We have played a leadership role in the indigenous development of quantum key distribution (QKD), having demonstrated distributed phase reference QKD at distances up to 150 km. Such QKD protocols form the building blocks for quantum networks that will secure our communications, and also enable new paradigms such as photonic quantum computing and distributed and blind quantum computing.”
IIT Madras introduced the Interdisciplinary Dual Degree (IDDD) programme on ‘Quantum Science and Technologies’ (QuEST) in July 2020. The Institute fosters a collaborative environment under a cluster of projects focused on Quantum Communication and Computation, Quantum Information Theory and Quantum Materials, boosting the research infrastructure in these areas, and funding international conferences and collaborations.