In December of 2019, Quantum Computing explored new territory in Pilanesberg, South Africa, where a group of around 120 students, educators, researchers, and developers met to innovate creative solutions and build new products using Qiskit. The participants were assisted by a family of friendly neighborhood baboons, who occasionally visited to check on the hackathon progress.
This event wrapped up a successful first year of international Qiskit Camps, which ranged from United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Qiskit Camps enabled quantum computing experts, enthusiasts, and beginners to bond and grow the quantum computing community worldwide. Teams were comprised of people from a variety of disciplines, including computer scientists, physicists, mechanical engineers, and more.
The event was preceded by a quantum computing summer school hosted at Wits University from December 2 to 10, 2019. The week-and-a-half-long summer school covered introductory quantum computation concepts as well as coverage of novel quantum algorithms. 200 students from 14 different countries attended rigorous coursework in the mornings, and ran quantum algorithms on real quantum computers in the afternoons
On December 11th, a day after the Quantum Summer School concluded, Qiskit Camp Africa kicked off. The hackathon started with team formation in the morning. After teams were finalized, teams had until the afternoon on the following day to build their projects. The event wrapped up with a chance for each team to present and showcase their work.
Three teams demonstrated admirable commitment to solving real world social problems. Quantum image dataset loading team preprocessed malaria drug images into the quantum format required by the different quantum backends. This quantum data was then used by both the Quantum speed up of a Q-means algorithm for unsupervised machine learning team, who implemented an unsupervised quantum machine learning approach, and the Clustering Malaria drugs images using Max-cut algorithm team that used the quantum Max-cut algorithm to cluster the malaria drug images in order to find a group of drugs that were similar to the malaria drug that had become resistant. More information will be coming soon about the fascinating work of these teams, with an analysis from IBM researcher Waheeda Saib about the opportunities using quantum computers for social good. Stay tuned!
Honorable mentions went out to three great projects! Qat the Cat won an honorable mention for best educational game, Qu-beats for most creative project, and Procedural Generation for most technical.
Community Choice was awarded to Bayesian Framework for Quantum Algorithms in Qiskit: Principled Computing Amidst Noise for demonstrating the integration of a Bayesian framework into Qiskit using QInfer, a Python library for model parameter estimation. As such, they introduced a new method for analyzing quantum algorithms using a Bayesian approach which improves results
Second place was awarded to An OpenPulse Mock Backend for Spin-based Qubits for creating a pulse sequence for certain operations that provides a mock backend for spin-based qubits! This helps with understanding and testing qubit operations on different quantum hardware using Qiskit.
First place (and winning a paid trip to Qiskit Camp 2020!) went to COBRA: commutator algebra for efficient excited state calculation, who created a method to do symbolic commutator algebra in Qiskit, which generalized the mapping of a N-body fermionic operators to qubit operators at 100% the speed over current static approaches.
Attendees are encouraged to keep in touch with their project coaches to continue project development, integrate projects into Qiskit, or write blog posts detailing projects or Qiskit Camp experiences.
Qiskit Camp Africa wrapped up a great year of events. Read more about our next event, which is our 2nd annual flagship Qiskit Camp. Interested in attending future events? Contact email@example.com. For tips on building your Qiskit Camp award winning presentation, check out this great article!
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Check out all of Qiskit Camp Africa’s projects!
Honorable Mention, Best in Education: Qat the Cat — an educational game
Honorable Mention, Most Creative: Qu-Beats
Honorable Mention, Most Technical: Procedural Generation