IBM Quantum Awards: Open Science Prize

<p>Back in May of 2016, the <a target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" href="">IBM Quantum</a> team made waves when we put the first quantum computer on the cloud for anyone to use. Today, a community of 275,000 registered users – including scientists, software engineers, and students all over the world – have run over 500 billion circuit executions on a suite of quantum computers, pushing the limits of what today’s quantum computers can do, with the help of the Qiskit open source software development kit. However, during the early era of quantum technology, hardware considerations place constraints on our quantum computers’ abilities. The quantum community will need to devise <i>hardware-aware</i> approaches to quantum computation if we hope to maximize the potential of these devices. That’s why the Open Science Prize will award $50,000 each to the best solutions to two difficult, cutting edge problems that sit at the boundary of quantum hardware and software.</p><p>We hope you'll take part in this competition as we all work to push the field of quantum computing—including both hardware and software—further into the future.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>Graph State Challenge</h2><p>The first problem asks to improve the fidelity of graph states created on the IBM Quantum system `ibmq_casablanca` by reducing the infidelity from 20% to 10%, with error bars that are better than 2% using benchmarking techniques described in the Open Science Prize notebook.</p><p>We implement graph states using a fairly simple quantum circuit where each qubit on the chip is a vertex, and each pair of connected qubits is an edge in a mathematical graph. A key feature of graph states is that they entangle all of the qubits, and these entangled quantum states could be important for error correction in the future. The goal of this challenge is to create the largest graph states using the same benchmarking and error mitigation techniques that are also used to improve the individual quantum gates, ultimately looking for the best fidelity graph state as estimated by stabilizer measurements, using a Jupyter notebook supplied by IBM Quantum.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>SWAP Gate Challenge</h2><p>The second problem asks researchers to improve the fidelity of the SWAP gate between the pair of qubits with the best two-qubit gate fidelity on the IBM Quantum system ‘ibmq_casablanca’ by reducing the infidelity from 2% to 1% with error bars equal to or better than 0.08% using benchmarking techniques described in the Open Science Prize notebook.&nbsp;</p><p>On our IBM Quantum processors, qubits can only interact with neighboring qubits - but several quantum circuits, such as those required for measuring Quantum Volume, frequently require operations between non-neighboring qubits. Quantum computers implement these operations by first using the SWAP gate to bring the quantum states of qubits closer on the chip, and then acting on these qubits with nearest-neighbor quantum gates. IBM Quantum Experience users will use Qiskit Pulse in order to devise SWAP gates of their own, and then characterize the gate's fidelity, using a Jupyter notebook supplied by IBM Quantum. The goal is to improve the fidelity of the currently implemented SWAP gates.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" href="">Click here to find the example Jupyter notebooks to get started on the challenge of your choice.</a></p>