PhD scholarship boost for Deakin and Cisco Quantum Computing research
- A joint project between Deakin University and Cisco researchers has been awarded a $332,000 grant from CSIRO to advance quantum computing
- The project aims to develop algorithms and software to utilise the power of multiple quantum computers networked together.
- The funding will be used to recruit PhD candidates to form the next generation of Australia's quantum computing talent.
A Deakin University-led Quantum Computing project will benefit from rising research talent, thanks to a funding boost through CSIRO’s $3.6 million Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program.
The Distributed Quantum Computing: Algorithms and Software project was one of four projects to receive funding from the national scientific research agency, which supports 16 PhD scholarships for projects across 11 Australian universities.
Quantum computers have the potential to one day solve complex problems far beyond what traditional computers could attempt. Quantum computing is a type of computing that takes advantage of the principles of quantum mechanics, a branch of physics that deals with the behaviour of matter and energy at the smallest scales—typically the scale of atoms and subatomic particles.
Towards a 'quantum internet'
In classical computing, information is processed using bits, which can represent either a 0 or a 1. Quantum computing, however, uses quantum bits, or ‘qubits’, which can exist in multiple states simultaneously thanks to a property known as superposition.
The Distributed Quantum Computing: Algorithms and Software project received more than $332,000 in funding to bring together Deakin and Cisco Quantum Labs with the aim of developing algorithms and software to utilise the power of multiple quantum computers networked together.
Led by three Deakin School of IT researchers - Professor Seng Loke, Professor Jinho Choi and Dr Jihong Park – working alongside Dr Stephen DiAdamo from CISCO, this area of research could lead to advancements in an eventual ‘quantum internet’.
Professor Loke says the field of quantum computing requires a new understanding of how computers talk to each other.
‘Recently, quantum computing has made significant progress, with advancements in building computers with multiple qubits. At the same time, there's active research in quantum networking, paving the way for a large-scale quantum internet that connects multiple quantum computers.
‘Similar to how classical distributed computing works, this progress opens up the possibility of leveraging qubits from multiple quantum computers for larger-scale quantum computing, known as Distributed Quantum Computing (DQC),’ he says.
‘DQC is still in its early stages, and our research program focuses on developing algorithms and software for DQC. We're collaborating with Cisco researchers who are working on the next generation of networking based on quantum engineering.
‘We’re looking forward to working with talented PhD candidates on this work. DQC holds incredible promise for various applications, including quantum machine learning, large-scale optimisation and quantum protocols.’
CSIRO’s grants will help Australian scientists remain at the forefront of quantum technology. Image: Unsplash
Positioning Australia at the forefront of quantum technology
The Next Generation Quantum Graduates Program is designed to leverage existing university resources, activities, and networks to bring students together to work on challenges proposed by industry partners.
An international panel of experts selected the four successful projects the PhD students will work on, running out of 11 Australian universities. The program aims to solve real industry challenges, while helping grow Australia’s emerging quantum skills and capacity and will fund scholarships and allowances from 2024 to 2029.
CSIRO’s Data61 Science Director, Dr Aaron Quigley, says these grants will help Australian scientists remain at the forefront of quantum technology.
“These projects represent some of Australia’s most ambitious work in quantum for the next generation” he says.
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Deakin’s research could lead to advancements in an eventual ‘quantum internet’ thanks to the $330,000 funding boost.