IBM partners with HBCUs to promote quantum computing

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Hoping to spur interest in quantum computing among Black students, IBM has launched the IBM Quantum education and research initiative, which includes working in partnership with 13 historically Black colleges and universities.

As part of the initiative, the newly formed partnership will establish the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, which will provide access to IBM’s quantum computers as well as a place to collaborate on academic and community outreach programs. IBM is making a multiyear, $100 million investment in technology assets and skills development through the partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as well as through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.

Kayla Lee

“The [IBM-HBCU Quantum Center] brings together both faculty and students from across all the institutions, where they can collaborate and research education programs together,” said Kayla Lee, Growth Product Manager, Community Partnerships at IBM Quantum. “It’s really an experiment to see what schools who have something in common can create technology programs.”

Disparities in number of science degrees
According to data collected on the ethnicity of all bachelor’s degree students from the National Center for Education Statistics, Black students are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, something that is magnified when it comes to emerging technology fields like quantum computing.

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