IBM releases quantum computing textbook and video tutorials

Programming a quantum computer is a rather different discipline than programming on traditional computers.

Why post-quantum encryption will be critical to protect current classical computers Quantum computers are theorized to be capable of breaking RSA encryption. Experts disagree on when it could happen, but agree on a need for quantum-proof encryption.

Quantum computers are quite different, at an architectural level, than traditional computers. Programming quantum computers, it stands to reason, is equally dissimilar—quantum computers use qubits, not bits. The properties of qubits are fundamentally what powers the potential of quantum computers, though learning how to harness qubits effectively requires a different way of thinking.

It's not entirely dissimilar, however, as IBM's Q System can be programmed using Python, providing a familiar language for developers to get started. Likewise, IBM announced the release of a new video tutorial series and open-source quantum computing textbook available through their Qiskit learning platform.

SEE: Quantum computing: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"Our team is committed to making quantum sciences more approachable by investing heavily in the education to support this growing community and establishing the emerging technology as the next generation of computing," Jay Gambetta, vice president of quantum at IBM, said in a blog post. "We need more students, educators, developers, and domain experts with 'quantum ready' skills. This is why our team is proud to release educational resources and tools, while also increasing the capacity and capability of our IBM Q systems."

Naturally, providing training materials is only of theoretical use absent the ability to access quantum computers. As part of this education push, IBM is also deploying new 5-qubit systems for educational use, and a new feature—initially available to members of the IBM Q Network—to reserve uninterrupted time on one of IBM's quantum computers for running experiments. 

IBM also announced an expansion to their "University Hackathon Partnership Program," providing mentorship from IBM teams for quantum developer students, as well as re-emhasizing the Qiskit camps for developers to learn more about Qiskit and compete in teams on projects.

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