Ohio State to develop quantum computing curriculum using Intel’s Software Development Kit

Posted: October 27, 2022

At its annual Innovation conference in San Jose, California, Intel Corporation announced that an Ohio State University team will receive a grant to develop a curriculum focused on quantum science and engineering.

The funding is part of Intel’s academic program that will create a community of developers to explore programming applications for quantum computing. Universities will develop quantum course curricula to proliferate the use of the Intel® Quantum Software Developer Kit (SDK), a full-stack software development kit optimized for executing hybrid algorithms. In addition to Ohio State, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Deggendorf Institute of Technology and Keio University also received grants.

Led by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Ron Reano, the Ohio State faculty working group includes Computer Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Syedah Zahra Atiq, Physics Professor Mohit Randeria, and Physics Professor Nandini Trivedi. To enable broad dissemination, they will partner with the National Science Foundation-funded QuSTEAM Initiative, a multi-institution effort led by Ohio State to develop a diverse and effective workforce by creating more equitable pathways to quantum science education. The faculty also will partner with qBraid, a cloud-based platform for learning about quantum information and programming on quantum computers.

Quantum computing promises to dramatically speed up complex problem-solving and has the potential to enable significant breakthroughs in materials, chemicals and drug design, financial and climate modeling, and cryptography. Advances in quantum bits, or qubits, are one step toward achieving quantum practicality, but significant breakthroughs are needed across the full hardware and software stack to realize its full potential.

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The Ohio State team will leverage the Intel Quantum SDK to enable its students to program quantum computing algorithms with a high-performance Intel Quantum Simulator qubit target backend. According to Reano, the curriculum will focus on quantum computing concepts targeting undergraduate and graduate students from physics, computer science, computational science and electrical and computer engineering. It will be piloted during the 2023 spring semester.

After piloting initial course modules, the working group will partner with relevant departments to insert the modules into other courses offered to students. Beyond the period of this award, the piloted modules will be incorporated into the QuSTEAM network and distributed to more than 25 colleges and universities within two to three years and up to 300 by 2027.

“The modules will be injected into classrooms with both undergraduate and graduate students who will participate in coursework covering a variety of topics, from integrated optics and photonics to quantum mechanics,” said Reano.  “We see this work with the Intel Quantum SDK as an important step in creating a community of developers who can program quantum computers as we strive to bring this nascent technology to its full potential.”

Earlier this year, Ohio State announced its Center for Quantum Information Science and Engineering (CQISE), which is creating synergy among the university’s current activity and pushing the entire field forward. Center co-directors are Reano and Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Physics.

“We will bring together key examples from all the modules and present them at a student-event hosted by CQISE,” said Reano. “The event will expose the SDK and the use of real qubits to the larger student body, highlighting what’s possible with this powerful technology.”

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