Indian Institute of Technology Madras has 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. In addition, it 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. They 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, says a press release from the institute.

The Quantum Computing Lab at IIT Madras will host courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students and better prepare them for a career in quantum science and technology. Through the institute's international collaborations with universities and with the support of industry partners such as IBM, students gain opportunities to apply these skills to advanced theoretical and practical applications of quantum computing, the release said.

Highlighting the 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 shapes the next generation of quantum innovators through various initiatives and programs. This collaboration with IIT Madras is part of the IBM Quantum Educators program that helps teachers in the quantum field connect with one another and provide learning resources, tools and systems access they need to provide quality educational experiences.”

Prof. 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. Our demonstrations are backed by a growing portfolio of patents on technologies such as quantum random number and heralded photon generation.”