Recap: 2019 Qiskit Camp Asia

Catherine Klauss
Published in
6 min readDec 4, 2019


Mt. Fuji, Qiskit Blocks, changing fall colors and the ever-pervasive obstacle of quantum noise—all the makings of yet another successful Qiskit Camp.

2019 Qiskit Camp Asia took place from 18–21 of November within the Hoshino resort in Hokuto, Yamanashi of Japan, which lies serenely within view of Mt. Fuji. Attendees shared, expanded, and developed ideas to improve, apply, or create games from Qiskit, the quantum computing framework that can run on IBM Q’s quantum computing hardware.

aerial photo of building in front of mountains
2019 Qiskit Camp Asia was held at the Hoshino Resorts in Hokuto, Yamanashi in Japan

As the second-ever international Qiskit camp, 2019 Qiskit Camp Asia proved to be an ignition for worldwide quantum computing learning and collaboration. Participants traveled from Asia and around the world — specifically, from 16 countries, including Japan, Korea, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Romania, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, France, Germany, and the U.S. — to share and develop their quantum computing ideas.

A large team-based escape room broke the ice during the first hour of Qiskit Camp Asia where all 120+ participants worked to free Dr. Q, who was trapped in the quantum universe. This escape room required teams to coordinate their quantum knowledge and puzzle-solving skills in a fast hour-long blast through multiple “rooms” defined by the Qiskit elements: Terra, Aer, Aqua and Ignis. Many thanks to the IBM Tokyo Team Lab members for creating the very first Qiskit escape room.

Many thanks to the IBM Tokyo Lab members who put together the escape room to kick off 2019 Qiskit Camp Asia. From left, Risa Miyazawa, Atsushi Matsuo, Tomoaki Mori, Kenichi Takasaki, Daiki Tsuzuku, Eri Ogawa and Yuri Kobayashi.

On the first day of the Qiskit camp hackathon, participants shared project ideas among their peers to kick off team formation. Within the next hour, groups of 3–5 participants each formed around ideas such as expanding Qiskit’s pulse control, testing qubit entanglement on IBM’s quantum hardware, writing circuits for dynamic Hamiltonians, and creating educational games in the Qiskit Blocks world.

Qiskit Developer Advocate James Weaver demonstrated Qiskit Blocks during Qiskit Camp Asia registration at IBM Japan Headquarters in Toyko.

Following group formation, teams had over 12 hours of working time on the first day, followed by over 6 hours the second day, plus 10 hours overnight in which participants were encouraged to rest but had the option to continue working.

several people working on laptops
room full of people working on laptops
several people working on laptops
Attendees working at 2019 Qiskit Camp Asia

Unlike previous Qiskit camps, such as the 2019 Qiskit camp Europe and the flagship Qiskit Camp 2019, there was no prior educational event, but many attendees arrived having done their homework. Mostly all attendees reported having at least some familiarity with Qiskit, even if it was just checking out Qiskit’s documentation, textbook, or YouTube videos.

The hackathon concluded with each group presenting their projects in fast, 3-minute presentations. The judges then deliberated which projects excelled in originality, usefulness, and technical complexity. Meanwhile, the participants of Qiskit Camp Asia voted for their Community Choice winner

Honorable mentions went to Quantum Duel for creating a western-themed video presentation that sent laughter echoing out all the way to the food hall, and to Quantum Deep Advantage for optimizing machine learning for quantum systems in an application that was both fun in its idea and presentation.

Team Quantum Duel won an Honorable Mention for Best Presentation. From left, Eduardo Gonzalez, Yohei Wakabayashi, Kaito Kishi and Unchalisa Taetragool
Team Quantum Deep Advantage won an Honorable Mention for Most Fun Application. From left, Sam Tonetto, Chen Li-Han, Makoto Nakai, Liu Sitong, Zhou Yinjie

2nd place went to Quantum Image Processing (a case study: cities at night), for developing an application that enabled quantum computers to identify cities by images of their nighttime lights. This project was selected by the Judges as an example of an industrial research application of NISQ-era quantum computers.

Team Quantum Image Processing won 2nd place for developing an application to enable quantum computers to match images. From left, Elena Peña Tapia, Lucía García, Nozomi Tanetani, Harold Co and Jean Philippe Arias Zapata.

The Community Choice award went to New Classical Optimizer for VQE of Aqua, a project which optimized the VQE (Variational Quantum Eigensolver) algorithm by implementing a new method to determine expectation values. This unique method, which was developed theoretically by a participant in external research, uses only three points to determine expectation values.

The Community Choice Award went to New Classical Optimizer for VQE of Aqua. From left, Yuya Nakagawa, Youyuan Zhang, Ken M. Nakanishi.

Finally, 1st Place went (drum roll, please)… Design a Pulse Programming Language, a project which expanded Qiskit’s OpenPulse feature to IBM Q’s QASM simulator. OpenPulse currently enables users to calibrate qubits by modifying the microwave pulse sent to IBM Q’s quantum hardware. By expanding this feature to simulators, this project has the potential to expand quantum computing research applications.

Team Design a Pulse Programming Language won 1st place for developing a project which could expand quantum computing research applications. From left, Anastasia Marchenkova, Sara Metwalli, Ryo Wakizaka, Shin Nishio.

All attendees are encouraged to keep in touch with their project coaches. Through their coach, post-event attendees can continue project development, integrate projects into Qiskit, or write blog posts detailing projects or Qiskit Camp experiences.

The last Qiskit Camp of 2019 will take place outside of Johannesburg on 11–14 of December. To be the first hear about the upcoming Qiskit Camps of 2020 subscribe to our Qiskit blog or follow us on Twitter.

Invitations to future Qiskit camps are based on community participation. For new Qiskitters looking to get involved, follow along with our Coding with Qiskit YouTube series or read up on Quantum Computation in our Qiskit Textbook.

glowing Q
As always, the IBM Q “Quantalier” made a glowing event appearance

List of 2019 Qiskit Camp Asia Projects

Now open for public contributions!

1st Place Winners
Design a Pulse Programming Language
Expanding OpenPulse to the QASM simulator

2nd Place Winners
Quantum Imaging Processing (a case study: cities at night)
Using Quantum Computers to match images

Community Choice Winners
New Classical Optimizer for VQE of Aqua
Implementing a new method to determine expectation values in VQE

Honorable Mention, Best Presentation
Quantum Duel
Be the fastest draw in the Quantum West

Honorable Mention, Most Fun Project
Quantum Deep Advantage
Optimized quantum circuits for machine learning on quantum systems

Qiskit Enhancements

F. J. U. (characterizing and measuring leakage errors)

Controlled Time Evolution on NISQ devices

Improved Qiskit Benchmarking

Improved Hamiltonian Simulation (dynamic simulations)

Graph Colouring + Hamiltonian Simulation (dynamic simulations)

The Stabilizers (Error Correcting Codes)

Qiskit-Based Games

Grover’s Escape Room in Qiskit Blocks

Ryoko: The Quantum Battle Game!

MinQuan (Quantum Quiz Game)

QFT Escape Rooms in Qiskit Blocks

QQQ! (Qiskit Quantum Games)

Qiskit Applications

Implementation of the 0/1 Knapsack problem using VQE

The Layout Problem as a Max-SAT problem

Two Hour Decoherence (Entanglement Tests)

Solving the Eternity II puzzle with Quantum Reinforced Learning

The Quantum Multi-Collision Team (MAC algorithm)

Eternity II Puzzle for Beginners

The Qash Equilibrium (Resource Collaboration Modeling)

My Chemical Romance (Molecule Simulation)

The qAussies (MPS Tomography)

Solving Sudoku

Solving TSP with Grover’s Algorithm

Quantum Neural Network



Catherine Klauss

Quantum Physicist, Writer, and Outdoor Enthusiast. Twitter @KlaussMouse