MCO Graduate Program alum Kayla Lee (Ph.D. ‘18, Springer Lab of HMS) is making a difference as a leader of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, an initiative that provides students and faculty at twenty-three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) an opportunity to develop research and education capabilities in quantum computing.
Quantum computing is still a nascent technology, meaning that equitable access to quantum computers is critical for ensuring that quantum computing technologies will be inclusive. “A primary goal of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center is increasing research opportunities for students and faculty to engage in quantum computing, as well as the fact that they can access quantum computers on the cloud makes that even easier,” Lee says.“Looking forward, I hope that we can apply these best practices and expand the success of the Center to not just HBCUs, but other underrepresented communities.”
Students and researchers connected through the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center have the opportunity to program quantum computers, conduct research using IBM technology, and learn skills that will empower them to pursue careers in quantum computing.
An IBM spokesperson said, “Kayla is a proud graduate of an HBCU, Hampton University, and is grateful for her professors, mentors, and research experiences, which have all helped in her current career.”
The program recently expanded to include partnerships with ten more colleges, bringing the total number of HBCUs connected through the center to twenty-three. Over the next year, she is excited to continue to watch the Center grow and see more students pursue research programs in quantum computing.