Achieving technological leaps forward requires more than scientific and engineering breakthroughs. A critical dependency is the cultivation of a skilled workforce that can unlock the potential of rising technology. In the field of quantum computing, now is the excellent time for educators to get ahead of the curve and prepare their students to start their quantum journeys. Along with quantum technology being on a path to scale, platform and tool maturity and accessibility are converging to enable academic institutions to meet workforce demand.
Microsoft and Azure Quantum want to empower educators and students to do just this. In our efforts to innovate across every layer of the Azure Quantum stack, we are pleased to launch Azure Quantum for Educators: a 1-stop resource for curriculum, samples, and tools to facilitate the skilling up of a quantum-ready workforce. It also includes case studies in using a practical, software-driven approach to educate quantum computing to undergraduate students and perspective on bringing palms-on use of quantum hardware to classrooms.
Azure Quantum for Educators features include:
- Practical and programming-oriented quantum computing curriculum for educators: A free, classroom-examined and continuously improving curriculum appropriate for students with and without a physics background. Includes syllabus, lecture slides, programming assignments, an automated homework grading tool, samples of final initiatives, and more.
- Free entry to palms-on quantum hardware: The Azure Quantum Credits Program provides free entry for quantum hardware exploration supporting teaching, learning, and deploying quantum programs on a diverse set of quantum computers.
- Python and Q# code samples: Run these samples against Azure Quantum’s diverse and growing hardware portfolio of trapped ion, superconducting, and neutral atom quantum processing units (QPUs), or against a variety of hardware simulators and resource estimators.
- Case studies and white papers: Learn about ways to introduce quantum computing to a variety of academic levels and settings, including undergraduate students.
- Azure Quantum office hours: We’re here to help! Drop in to request direct support for and provide enter on quantum education initiatives.
Dr. Celia Merzbacher, Executive Director of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C®) notes, “Initiatives like Azure Quantum for Educators help to construct a robust talent pipeline of quantum-ready workers for the rising quantum computing industry and the industries that will use the technology, from finance to pharma. Practical palms-on experience is highly sought-after by employers across the board.”
Join institutions, like the University of Washington, in leveraging Azure Quantum for Educators to enable new quantum computing capabilities in the classroom. Combining learning with doing in a recent course that included entry to quantum hardware through Azure Quantum generated enthusiastic feedback from learners around:
Putting classroom concepts into immediate practice
- “We quickly get to apply what we learned from the professors and visitor lectures.”
- “The Azure Quantum platform was useful and straightforward to use. Submitting jobs was also straightforward.”
Ease of use
- “One of the best classes regarding quantum computing implementations.”
“We’ve loved a wellspring of enthusiasm from teaching institutions globally about the Azure Quantum Educators sources,” says Kent Foster Microsoft University Relations Director. “Universities, colleges, business and vocational schools, and even high school educators are interested in integrating our materials and quantum computing hardware entry into a broad range of classroom situations, ranging from for-credit classes and summer schools to multi-disciplinary pupil clubs and continuing education classes targeted at learners already in the workforce.”
With increasing government, private, and academic funding in quantum research, developing a skilled quantum workforce is critical to accelerating quantum computing breakthroughs in areas like chemistry, materials science, and finance. We are incredibly excited to partner with educators, learners, and researchers to close the talent gap and inspire the next generation of quantum fanatics with Azure Quantum for Educators resource and an invitation to join our Azure Quantum Network—a vibrant coalition working together to solve for a better prospective.