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Graduate student receives high ranking in IBM Quantum Challenge


Writer(s): Steve Scherer


Graduate student Sumit Suresh Kale earned a high ranking in the November 2020 IBM Quantum Challenge. Kale, a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Sabre Kais’ research group, placed 32nd out of more than 1200 participants.

Kale said the final challenge was a modified version of the classic (4 x 4) asteroids puzzle.

“In this version, 16 such boards were given and the challenge was to find the board which cannot be solved within 3 shots of lasers. Classically, we need to process a single board each time which takes 16 such steps but, in my approach, I took advantage of the quantum parallelism which simultaneously checked for all the 16 boards in a single go,” he explained.

Kale, who is from Amravati, India, says he used the qRAM to encode all the 16 boards in a single superposition which was then processed by the Oracle and the solution was amplified using Grover’s search algorithm.

During the 3-week challenge, rankings were given on the basis of the complexity of the algorithm used -- so the least number of qubits/gates used, the faster the algorithm and better the score.

Professor Sabre Kais says coherent control of reactants remains a long-standing challenge in quantum chemistry.

“Sumit is an outstanding first year graduate student doing beautiful work in figuring out the role of entanglement, a quantum correlation with no classical analog, and quantum coherence, in predicting and controlling the outcome of chemical reactions,” Kais added.