Looking to sharpen or perhaps simply explore your quantum programming skills? On Thursday, IBM fires up its IBM Quantum Challenge 2021 marking the fifth anniversary of IBM Quantum Experience cloud services and the 40th anniversary of the conference – The Physics of Computation – held at MIT’s Endicott House in May 1981, which developed many of the seminal ideas of quantum computing.
IBM reports there have been more than 320,000 users of its quantum cloud services, encompassing both its free and commercial (IBM Network) quantum cloud offerings. Starting at 10 am EDT on Thursday, May 20, 2021, intrepid users can tackle any of five programing challenges, which map neatly to fundamental aspects of quantum computing.
Here’s an excerpt from IBM’s announcement:
“To commemorate this double anniversary, we’re excited to present the IBM Quantum Challenge 2021. We have prepared five quantum programming exercises, each representing a milestone from quantum computing history from 1980 until today, while highlighting key features of Qiskit and IBM Quantum systems.”
“These milestones represent some of the most important advances in the field. The challenge begins with a problem about Tomasso Toffoli’s 1980 introduction of Toffoli gate, then poses problems surrounding Shor’s 1994 algorithm and 1995 introduction of quantum error correction. Finally, it tackles the modern history of quantum computing: a hardware-specific question as a nod to the 2007 introduction of superconducting transmon qubits, and a question applying the variational quantum eigensolver, an algorithm introduced in 2014.”
Check out the photo and names from the 1981 conference below, which was sponsored by MIT and IBM.
Today there is a virtual army of academic, commercial, and government workers feverishly trying to bring quantum computing to fruition. There’s a nice overview of the 2021 exercises by IBM technical writer Ryan Mandelbaum on Medium (IBM Quantum Challenge 2021: Here’s What to Expect). He walks briefly through the problems from a beginner exercise to the less so.
IBM hopes the IBM Quantum Challenge 2021 serves “both as an exciting introduction to quantum for first-time users, as well as a fun and engaging problem set for seasoned quantum veterans.” Participants will be invited to a dedicated Slack channel where they will receive support from our mentors and other participants and IBM will highlight the top 10 participants in a recap blog, and those who complete all five exercises will receive a badge.
IBM blog announcing the challenge: https://research.ibm.com/blog/quantum-challenge-2021
Mandelbaum’s article on Medium: https://medium.com/qiskit/ibm-quantum-challenge-2021-heres-what-to-expect-65a303753ffb
Photo: fro MIT web site, https://mitendicotthouse.org/physics-computation-conference/