Hackathon focusing on Qiskit hosted by UCD and IBM

Last year, UCD and IBM Research Europe in Ireland worked together to hold the Quantum Technologies Colloquium, and this year they hosted the 2020 Quantum Computing Hackathon together.

This virtual event had the use of the open source software network Qiskit as its main course. IBM developed Qiskit to write code for quantum computers, which have potential to spearhead major breakthroughs in many fields. These fields include chemistry, optimisation, AI, and the financial industry.

“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.”

Vice President for Research, Innovation & Impact at UCD Prof Orla Feely 
IBM have launched a number of initiatives to help users learn quantum computing and quantum programming

A two-phase event, the Hackathon began with team-forming and identifying which ideas to delve into. The second phase had registered teams of students, academics, and industry representatives work together in the ‘hacking phase’, using Qiskit to work on their respective ideas. All throughout the Hackathon, there were IBM Europe in Ireland and UCD quantum coding coaches available to assist when teams ran into problems or had questions.  

Having a hackathon like this allowed the teams to experience first-hand what Qiskit could offer to both academia and industry through the exercise.

“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.”

Senior manager AI & Quantum at IBM Research Europe in Ireland Dr Martin Mevissen

About IBM Research Europe

IBM Research Europe is one of IBM’s research locations. The first European location is Zurich while the United Kingdom and Ireland more recently had laboratories of their own. IBM Research seeks to push the boundaries of quantum computer technology.

About UCD

University College Dublin is one of Europe’s most advanced institutions. It has an excellent community of researchers, including in the field of computer science. The research income at UCD is at 1.1 billion Euros since 2004.