August 20, 2018
Eddie Schoute, a third-year doctoral student in computer science working in the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), recently tied for second place in the IBM Qiskit Developer Challenge.
The competition was designed to encourage more teachers and students to take advantage of IBM’s quantum computing tools—specifically their IBM Q Experience community portal and the IBM Qiskit development platform.
Prizes for the competition were awarded for writing the best compiler code in Python or Cython that takes an arbitrary input quantum circuit and maps it to an optimal circuit for a provided hardware topology.
According to a press release issued by IBM Research, Schoute tied for second place honors with a student from the University of Munich because their codes had nearly identical benchmarks and consistently produced better circuits than Qiskit and the other contenders.
“By breaking the problem down into smaller sub-problems: the movement of qubits, the finding of a good placement, and the final compilation step; we find that it is much easier to experiment with each, individually, and optimize for various parameters,” says Schoute, who adds that a paper on this subject is forthcoming.
Schoute’s academic adviser at Maryland is Andrew Childs, a professor of computer science and co-director of QuICS.