NEWS

April 2021

 New Quantum Computing Internship Program launches 

Vancouver, BC – The NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Quantum Computing Program and Mitacs are pleased to announce a partnership to assist in training the next generation of graduate students who will power Canada’s growing quantum computing sector. The international race to build quantum computers has attracted $20 billion in R&D investment worldwide and the National Research Council of Canada predicts that by 2030, the Canadian quantum computing sector could generate revenues of $4.1 billion to $8.2 billion per year, and support 8,000 to 16,000 jobs. The 2021 federal budget announced an investment of $360 million over the next seven years for a National Quantum Strategy. The partnership announced today supports this growth by providing over 100 students with industrial internships at quantum computing companies over the next seven years. 

The need for more trained people in quantum computing is undeniable. Quantum software and hardware experts with post-graduate degrees are in high demand for R&D staff by our Canadian industry partners, as well as international companies with R&D centers in Canada and firms located abroad. 

Sustaining a strong quantum computing ecosystem in British Columbia and Canada is why the University of British Columbia (UBC), The University of Victoria (UVic) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) have initiated an industrial stream NSERC CREATE program designed to provide specialized training in quantum computing. 

The partnership with Mitacs announced today will streamline the Mitacs internship application process for graduate students at the three partner universities. This will provide students with highly relevant, hands-on work experience with some of the world’s leading quantum computing companies and ensure that businesses have access to the talent they need to make it in a competitive global marketplace and that graduates have the skills they need to succeed in the job market.  

“Quantum technology is at the cutting edge of innovation. Mitacs has proudly supported the development of this sector in Canada for years. We look forward to continuing that important work, including through the new Quantum Computing Internship Program we’re announcing today. By providing practical experience to students that reflects the needs of the industry, we will be able to ensure that Canada has the talent and the expertise it needs to remain competitive in this growing sector.” -John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs

About the NSERC CREATE Quantum Computing Program: 

  • • The NSERC CREATE Quantum Computing Program launched in June 2020 and accepted its first cohort of students in September 2020. It offers training to graduate students in quantum computing hardware and software. 
  • • The CREATE Quantum Computing Program unites faculty from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Victoria (UVic) and is housed under the Quantum BC umbrella including both academia and industry in the quantum computing field in BC. 

About Mitacs: 

  • • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions. 
  • • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon. 

April 2021

nserc create quantum computing scholar awarded killam graduate teaching assistant award

Quantum computing education has become Parham Pashaei’s niche, and his work toward developing as a teacher and his commitment to improving the learning experience and outcomes for students in Applied Science courses has earned him a Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant award. The award is given each year to just a few graduate students who have made outstanding contributions to teaching and learning at UBC, particularly those who are to solve teaching challenges or initiate new principles to improve the learning environment for UBC students.

April 2021

Women in science: equity, diversity and inclusion panel

Panelists:

Dr. Aline Ramirez (Ambizione Fellow, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland)

Dr. Olivia New (Chief Academic Leader, STEM ACES)

Dr. Sarah Burke (Principal Investigator, Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, UBC)

Dr. Mona Berciu ( Principal Investigator, Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, UBC)

Organizer/Moderator: Natalia Bussard, Manager of Programs and Careers, SBQMI  

To say that we have made great progress in welcoming and including women in sciences would be true, but to say that we have a long way to go would be equally true. At a recent event prepared and moderated by Natalia Bussard, Manager, Programs and Careers at SBQMI entitled “Women in Science – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Panel”, three physicists and one chemist were featured. The questions tackled inequity for women in science, and lack of opportunities and gender imbalance in their chosen fields. The consensus was that despite all the progress that has been made, there is a long way to go.

Barriers that women in science face can add up over time and create limitations for women, both physically and mentally. Because the challenges are systemic and hard to see for everyone- they can be subtle micro-aggressions or putdowns – they may be hard to identify and eliminate. When these challenges happen early on in a woman’s career, they can be even more detrimental. We see this in the phenomenon of women leaving the sciences in large numbers before reaching the top of their field. What is important to look at is not so much the fact that women are leaving academic sciences, but to look at why.

One question asked during the panel was what men can do to support women’s voices and increase their presence and longevity in their field. As panelists expressed, one thing that men can do is to emphasize the points made by women in meetings and discussions, as often a woman’s ideas or input are brushed aside in favour of a male voice. In any situation, we all can take responsibility when we see an opportunity to educate. Moreover, the concept of implicit bias can be discussed in all courses and environments, as it is always there and can be made more transparent through education. And while conversations around gender inequality in science are now being welcomed, taking things from discussion to action is still mostly absent.

While increased representation for women in all science fields is key, the importance of having mentors and allies was also highlighted. Women need other women, as role models, and also men, to help create environments where women are safe, welcomed, and where their ideas and approaches are incorporated into a new way of doing things. The panelists encouraged women to align themselves with people in the field whom they want to learn from, and that they must be proactive in making these connections.

In order to encourage more women involved in science, training needs to start early. The Diversifying Talent in Quantum Computing Program is one such program that encourages kids, starting as young as kindergarten, to get involved with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), with a focus on educating girls and other underrepresented groups. With curriculum targeting K-12 students, and specialized programs for girls, this is one way to start creating actual changes in the science fields in terms of representation, ultimately changing the culture to be more inclusive. At the university level, the NSERC funded Quantum Computing CREATE Program has Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) as a key element to its program. The application process asks students if they identify in an underrepresented group, and all students are asked to participate in outreach in order to help level the playing field in science. In addition to mandatory EDI training for all students in the program, there is a mentorship program for all the female graduate students to be matched up with women in industry and academia to provide support and guidance.

Sometimes those who need to hear this message are not the ones who are coming to these types of events. Hopefully over time more of these events will happen, bringing in a wider audience. Over time, the ideas will start to permeate the mainstream and a true cultural shift can take place, one where all scientists can feel welcomed and valued and respected.

April 2021

Canadian quantum computing gets boost through unique training opportunity

Graduate students from across Canada enjoyed a unique opportunity to use the IBM Q Hub, one of the world’s most powerful quantum computing platforms. Held online over three weeks, this training workshop came to light through NSERC CREATE programs QC CREATE and QSciTech, who joined forces to deliver a one-of-a-kind workshop for students to learn how to use the IBM Q Hub for concrete, real-world applications.

Recall that in the summer of 2020,  Institut quantique (IQ) at Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) joined the IBM Quantum Network as an IBM Q Hub, the first in Canada. CMC Microsystems partnered with IQ to join the Hub, providing access to the platform for leading researchers through Canada’s National Design Network® (CNDN). IBM Q Hub members gain exclusive cloud-based access to IBM’s most advanced quantum computing systems and software, including a 53-qubit system, currently the largest universal one available in the industry. 

Quantum computing has the potential to solve problems beyond the capabilities of conventional supercomputers, and could revolutionize the advancement of several fields, including biochemistry, finance, logistics, and artificial intelligence. In addition to developing prototype code, workshop participants dove into real-world chemistry modelization by simulating the quantum states and Hamiltonian of the hydrogen (H2) molecule. This exercise gave the participants the building blocks necessary to eventually tackle complex quantum chemistry problems with envisioned applications in the fields of renewable energies, material design, pharmacology, and much more.    

Organizations from across Canada deliver training on the IBM Q Hub, one of the world’s most powerful quantum platforms

One member of the organizing committee reflected that “this workshop was not only a success for the students, it demonstrated the commitment and strength of the relationship between British Columbia and Quebec to jointly push Canadian quantum computing expertise. In time, our bonds, drawn together by our common interest in quantum, will bring the two coasts even closer together, furthering our education and R&D initiatives.”

The quantum computing industry is poised for explosive growth with practically endless industrial applications. It takes a very special skillset to develop and program the algorithms to use quantum platforms to their full potential, and developing highly qualified personnel can give Canada a competitive advantage in the quantum ecosystem. “This is another great example of CMC giving researchers the tools and expertise to bring their research vision to light and helping train and develop Canadian talent to excel at the highest level” said Gordon Harling, President and CEO of CMC Microsystems.

March 2021

University of Victoria’s HighTechQ initiative offers high school students workshops on quantum computing

HighTechQ is part of HighTechU, an innovative learning community & skills incubator for high-school-aged youth to make connections, build professional skills, and explore diverse education and career pathways related to technology. HighTechQ conduct workshops for high-school students to learn quantum computing in a fun and engaging way.

January 2021

Quantum Bits podcast available now

Quantum Bits podcast provides bi-weekly episodes on various topics of quantum computing for public enthusiasts. In each episode, our guests from the quantum computing industry and academia keep us educated and updated by sharing their perspectives, ideas, and experiences.

November 2020

INDUSTRY AND ACADEMIA CONNECT FOR QUANTUM COMPUTING

University of Victoria’s Hausi Müller has worked tirelessly to create and orchestrate the most extensive, high-profile international conference believed ever to have been held on quantum computing. The first IEEE International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering took place in October with 850 industry leaders, researchers, educators and enthusiasts from around the globe. The conference helped bring together top leaders from both industry and academia.

October 2020

quantum industry canada launched

A consortium of 24 Canadian quantum technology companies, including BC-based 1QBit and D-Wave, collaborate and coordinate to communicate Canada’s quantum readiness to ensure Canada remains a global leader in this new emerging field.

October 2020

Sfu Physics professor recognized as top 40 under 40 in canada

Stephanie Simmons’ quest to build the world’s first large-scale universal quantum computer is gaining attention. Simmons already has two Physics World ‘Top Ten Breakthroughs of the Year’ and numerous patents under her belt. Now she is included in Caldwell Partners’ Top 40 Under 40 list of outstanding Canadian leaders and innovators who have made significant impacts in their fields before the age of 40. “The rules of quantum mechanics are so different and so exciting,” says Simmons. “The exponential computational capacity of quantum computers opens up a whole new world.”

October 2020

IEEE QUANTUM WEEK BEST PAPER AWARD

A Best Paper Award in the Quantum Education Track was awarded to the Diversifying Talent in Quantum Computing team at the University of British Columbia. The award was presented to Parham Pashaei, Haris Amiri, Raphael Haenel, Pedro Lopez and Lukas Chrostowski. The paper, titled Educational Resources for Promoting Talent in Quantum Computing was presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering (QCE20) held October 12-16, 2020. The paper compiles a number of publicly available resources, tested in real classes, for integrating Quantum Computing to the education of the K-12 age groups.

 

August 2020

quantum computing and machine learning for science and technology summer school – postponed to summer 2021

The  TRIUMF Summer Institute (TSI 2020) on Quantum Computing and Machine Learning for Science and Technology was to be held at TRIUMF in Vancouver, BC, Canada from August 3rd to August 14th 2020. The school is organized by TRIUMF, Germany’s Helmholtz Association, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria.The school is aimed at equipping graduate students in quantitative disciplines with applicable skills in machine learning and introducing them to the possibilities in quantum computing and quantum machine learning. The school is postponed to Summer 2021 due to the Covid-19.

August 2020

QUANTUM COMPUTING TRAINING SERIES CONNECTED INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCES WITH CANADIAN EXPERTISE

Last week, Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (SBQMI) joined partners at TRIUMF, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (Germany) in celebrating the successful conclusion the Cornerstone Models for Quantum Computing series. The series, which comprised eight lectures and tutorials over four weeks, attracted international participation and engaged audiences from across North America, Europe and Asia.

June 2020

Thank you to all the participants, judges and sponsors at our first virtual poster session and student competition on Quantum Computing

On 25 June 2020, speakers from industry and academia across the world presented on various quantum computing topics. Thank you to everyone who participated and, congratulations to the three student poster winners – Xiruo Yan (1st), Bryan Dury (2nd) and Adan Azem (3rd).

Finally, thank you to the judges, Gordon Harling (CMC Microsystems), Shunji Matsuura (1QBit) and Olivia Di Matteo (TRIUMF), and to the prize sponsors CMC Microsystems and the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (SBQMI).

June 2020

Quantum BC, TRIUMF and Helmholtz Institut jointly present an online lecture and tutorial series during July to August 2020

The ‘Cornerstone Models of Quantum Computing’ series covers introductory lectures and hands-on tutorials in four key models of Quantum Computing including gate-model quantum computing, quantum annealing, measurement-based quantum computing and continuous-variable quantum computing.

May 2020

A NEW QUANTUM SENSOR BASED ON ULTRACOLD ATOMS

Developed by a UBC-BCIT collaboration (Kirk Madison, Roman Krems and Jim Booth), the self-defining particle pressure sensor provides the first primary and quantum definition of the Pascal. This represents a fundamental advance for vacuum and pressure metrology.

March 2020

New NSERC CREATE Quantum Computing Training Program to be Offered by UBC, UVic, and SFU with Leading Industry Experts Rigetti Computing, IBM, D-Wave, 1QBit and More

Students will be trained in building and programming quantum computers to create quantum algorithms, systems and applications supported by industry professionals from Rigetti Computing, Microsoft, IBM, 1QBit, Xanadu, D-Wave, Google and the German Aerospace Center.

March 2020

UBC and the University of Washington Establish Collaborative Research Partnership on Quantum Computing

Faculty at UBC and the University of Washington combine efforts to deliver workshops on quantum computing and foster greater research collaboration through the UW-UBC Collaborative Research Mobility grant.

March 2020

University of Victoria Looking to Appoint a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computing and Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering invites applications for an Assistant/Associate Professor. Areas of interest include, quantum algorithms, quantum complexity, quantum information theory, quantum programming languages, quantum software engineering, applications of quantum computing to optimization and machine learning, and hybrid quantum/classical computing.

March 2020

New Course on Quantum Computation with Photons Offered by Robert Raussendorf and Jeff Young at UBC

The new course was introduced in Spring 2020.

January 2020

Success at Digital Supercluster Capacity Building Program With Diversifying Talent in Quantum Computing Project

Led by UBC (Lukas Chrostowski), D-Wave and UBC Geering Up Engineering Outreach, this project will work to ensure that young people, including girls and indigenous people. are aware of career opportunities in the quantum computing field.

December 2019

SFU Looking to Appoint a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computing

The School of Computing Science invites applications for an Assistant/Associate professor post. Areas of interest include quantum algorithms, quantum-safe cryptography, systems software for quantum computers, quantum AI, and theoretical foundations of quantum computing.

December 2019

Joe Salfi offers new graduate course on Introduction to Quantum Computing at UBC

In January 2020, this introductory course will teach students in physics, electrical engineering and computer science about the fundamental aspects of quantum computers.

December 2019

Funding Renewed for the Quantum Computing Research Cluster for 2020/2021

UBC’s Quantum Computing Research Cluster receives further funding through the UBC Research Excellence Clusters initiative in 2020/2021.

December 2019

UBC Hosts Germany-Canada Workshop on Quantum Computing Applications in Advanced Manufacturing

German Aerospace Center (DLR) attends UBC workshop on quantum computing applications in advanced manufacturing.

November 2019

World-Renowned Quantum Computing Experts (Penrose, Rosenbaum, Raussendorf) Speaks at UBC Conference, Quantum Information: Quo Vadis?

Led by UBC’s Philip Stamp, this conference brings experimental, theoretical and industrial communities across the Pacific North American coast to reflect on current and future progress in this field attracting prestigious quantum experts including Roger Penrose, Robert Raussendorf and Thomas Rosenbaum.

October 2019

BC Provincial Government Invests $17M to Establish New Quantum Algorithms Institute

The new institute, hosted at SFU Surrey campus, will partner with universities across the region (UBC, SFU, UVic) to help position BC as a world leader in building quantum computing software and algorithms.

September 2019

UBC Professor Lukas Chrostowski Newly Elected to Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Lukas Chrostowski, an electrical and computer engineering professor, has been named as a new member of the Royal Society of Canada for “his leadership in research and education in the design of silicon photonic devices and systems for applications in optical communications and biosensors”.

August 2019

Joe Salfi Awarded $125K in Research Funding Through the John R Evans Leaders Fund (JELF)

UBC Assistant Professor, Joe Salfi, is the recipient of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation JELF grant for his project: ‘Ultra-low Temperature Facility for Quantum Simulators and Quantum Computers in Silicon’.

July 2019

SFU’s Stephanie Simmons Appointed New CIFAR Fellow in Quantum Information Science

CIFAR fellows are exceptional researchers who are internationally respected for advances in their field.

May 2019

Strong attendance at TRIUMF’s Introduction to Quantum Computing & Quantum Annealing Workshop

TRIUMF’s Quantum Information Science Associate, Olivia di Matteo, delivers introductory lecture series on gate model quantum computing, quantum annealing and applications.

March 2019

UBC Professors Collaborate with University of Waterloo and University of Sherbrooke on Two Joint CFREF Quantum Research Projects

The two research projects are:

  1. Industrially relevant spin-3/2 hybrid quantum devices (Joe Salfi (UBC), Eva Dupont-Ferrier (IQ), Michel Pioro-Ladrière (IQ))
  2. Quantum computational resources in the presence of symmetry (David Poulin (IQ), Robert Raussendorf (UBC), Joseph Emerson (TQT)).

February 2019

Gate-Based Quantum Computer Applications Workshop Draws Strong Attendance With Leading Industry Instructors From 1QBit and Rigetti Computing at UBC

This workshop provides participants with the opportunity to learn how to use NISQ computers such as the Rigetti machine and to advance knowledge in software and algorithms for use in both NISQ and universal quantum computers.

January 2019

UBC Welcomes Experimental Quantum Physicist, Joe Salfi, as an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Joe Salfi joins UBC from the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) in Sydney, Australia. His research focuses on the investigation, realization and assembly of the building blocks for quantum information systems.

December 2018

Prashant Nair Joins UBC as an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Specializing in Computer Systems and Quantum Computing

Prashant Nair joins from IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York. His research interests include the reliability, security, and performance-power efficient memory systems and optimization of systems and architectures to enable efficient and practical quantum computers.

December 2018

First Industry Consortium (SiEPICfab: the Canadian Silicon Photonics Foundry) established between UBC, Laval University, McGill University and Industry Partners

Instigated by Lukas Chrostowski, the consortium is an extension of the NSERC CREATE SiEPIC research training program. SiEPICfab’s goal is to fabricate and demonstrate novel photonic devices and functions for emerging applications including quantum computing.

November 2018

Success at SBQMI’s Grand Challenges Call With “Pushing the Boundaries of Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum Computing by Focusing on Quantum Materials Problems'” Project

Led by Robert Raussendorf and colleagues from SBQMI, UBC and the University of Tel Aviv, the project aims to address the question: what can be done with the small-scale quantum computers available now or in the near future?

October 2017

SFU-UBC Awarded $19M from the CFI Innovation Fund for “The Silicon Quantum Leap: Tools for Building a Universal Quantum Computer” Project

This project led by SFU Progessor Mike Thewalt and a team including Stephanie Simmons and UBC collaborators Jeff Young and Lukas Chrostowski aims to build a scalable universal quantum computer based on silicon qubits.

September 2017

Sarah Burke Receives $800K Through the John R Evans Leaders Fund (JELF)

UBC Assistant Professor, Sarah Burke, is the recipient of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation JELF grant for her project “Tool for Multimodal Measurements of Quantum Materials: Scanning Probe Microscopy and Angle Resolved Photoemission”.

September 2016

UBC Professor, Roman Krems, Elected New Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars and Scientists

Roman Krems has been named as a new member of the Royal Society of Canada through his research on developing numerical tools for calculating the collision properties of molecules in electromagnetic fields.

February 2016

Renewed Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Nanoscience for Sarah Burke at UBC

Sarah Burke retains Canada Research Chair for another 5 years for research excellence in nanoscience.

October 2015

SFU Welcomes Stephanie Simmons as an Assistant Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Quantum Nanoelectronics

Stephanie joins SFU from the Center for Quantum Computation and Communication Technologies (CQC2T) in Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on buildings silicon-based quantum technologies and she previously collaborated with SFU’s Mike Thewalt on the longest coherence time for a qubit at room temperature.

November 2013

SFU Break World Record for the Longest-Lived Qubit at Room Temperature at 39 Minutes

Mike Thewalt and SFU colleagues shatter previous record of seconds with the breakthrough named as one of the top 10 in 2013 by Physics World.

October 2013

UBC welcomes Assistant Professor Sudip Shekhar to Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sudip previously worked as a Senior Research Scientist at Intel Corporation. His research interests include integrated circuits and systems for high-speed wireline signalling links, silicon photonics links, radio-frequency transceivers and low power sensing and computer interfaces.

June 2012

UBC Professor Lukas Chrostowski Secures NSERC CREATE funding for Silicon Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits (Si-EPIC) Training Program

The Si-EPIC program, led by Program Director Lukas Chrostowski and researchers from 5 Canadian Universities, will train students nationwide in the information and communication technology systems that involves miniaturization of optical components onto silicon chips.

December 2010

UBC’s Sarah Burke Appointed Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Nanoscience

Sarah Burke recognized for research excellence in nanoscience.

February 2010

UBC’s Joshua Folk Awarded 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics

The two-year fellowships are awarded in recognition of outstanding early-career faculty.