BEGINNER'S GUIDE, QUANTUM COMPUTING

How to get started with Quantum Computing

July 15, 2021

My first encounter with Quantum Computing happened 8years ago during a lecture by Prof. Carlos Nunez at the University of Swansea. Since then, I was actively tracking this rapidly moving field. Even though I have recently started a career in the data science field, the present pandemic situation has reinforced me to upskill myself to the next big emerging technology.

In this article, let us take a glimpse of what’s buzzing in the world of quantum computing.

  • After 5 years of making the five-qubit quantic processor accessible to customers over the cloud, IBM has recently launched its first quantum computer in Germany. It is considered to be the first quantum computer outside the New York data centers. By 2023, IBM is expecting to make a 1000-qubit-processor and is aiming to produce a million-qubit quantum system.
  • In October 2019, Google claimed that it had achieved a landmark in quantum supremacy by performing a calculation that would be practically impossible for a classical machine.

The quantum phenomenon is trending and is strengthening quantum-based start-ups attract a lot of private funding.

The race to quantum supremacy has begun. On one side, China is dominating the quantum communication space while on the other side, North America is way ahead in quantum computing.

I have barely scratched the surface to provide some idea regarding the advancements in the quantum computing field. The very next question that comes to mind is, “How do I get my hands dirty?” To answer this question, I would like to share a few resources I have been using to get started.

There are various SDKs and programming languages to explore. I have started my journey with Qiskit. One reason is that it’s an SDK with access to a quantum processor. Developed by IBM, Qiskit is an open-source tool that can be easily installed via pip. It has a sizeable GitHub community.

As IT professionals, we are all aware of certifications and their benefits. One such certification that drew my attention is IBM‘s Associate Certified Developer Quantum Computation using Qiskit. It is offering the world’s first-ever developer certification for programming a quantum computer.

Another course that might be useful for quantum computing enthusiasts is the free online course offered by IBM and IIT Madras in Quantum Computing. Introduction to Quantum Computing: Quantum Algorithms and Qiskit – Course (nptel.ac.in) (Inviting Applications)

Here are few links to get started with Quantum Computing:

Just like me, few may enjoy reading books. Here are my two personal favorites I’ve been following to become a quantum computing developer.

Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists gives us a theoretical approach to mathematical concepts such as complex numbers and complex vector spaces.

Programing Quantum Computers focuses on the implementation and practical side of Quantum algorithms. It also includes a comparison between PCA and QPCA, SVM and QSVM, and many other ML algorithms. It might be interesting for Data Scientists and ML Practitioners.

References