Gate-based quantum computer applications workshop, February 19-22, 2019

Workshop Dates – 4 days
February 19-22, 2019 – Tuesday to Friday
Location: University of British Columbia, Kaiser 2020, except for Thursday in McLeod 202

Sponsored by ICICS and SBQMI

Arman Zaribafiyan, Dennis Loktionov, Maliheh Aramon, Ehsan Zahedinejad, Valentin Senicourt, Takeshi Yamazaki – 1QBit
Tushar Mittal, Amy Brown – Rigetti
Robert Raussendorf, Roman Krems, Joseph Salfi, Lukas Chrostowski, Parham Pashaei – UBC


Industrial developments in quantum computing are progressing at a rapid pace, and there are now several companies offering access to their hardware via a cloud interface – DWave, Rigetti, IBM, and Google – and software companies that know how to use them – 1QBit, and many others. However, the field is still in its infancy: quantum computers have not yet shown a quantum advantage over classical computers, and it may yet be two decades before universal quantum computers become available and start making major societal impacts. Yet we are presently in a very exciting era, the Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) era, which features analog quantum computers with a limited number of qubits that operate in a non-error controlled manner, which may have near-term applications, e.g., quantum molecular simulations. The technologies being developed today will form the basis for the next generation universal quantum computers that will be fault-tolerant. Hence it is critical to learn not only how to use NISQ computers, but also advance our knowledge in software and algorithms that will be needed in both NISQ and universal QCs.

The objective of this workshop is to help establish an ecosystem of software developers and application experts who can formulate problems that will execute on today’s NISQ computers, provide hardware designers with feedback on computing architectures, and provide a motivation for our long-term efforts towards universal quantum computing.

Today’s hardware offers an important platform for experimentation and algorithm development. The Rigetti machine, available for our workshop participants via the Quantum Cloud Services, includes a processor with a modest number of qubits, coupled with a classical computer. This hybrid quantum computer allows the designer to partition their problem into quantum and classical regimes, and identify a which part of the algorithm can best be executed on a quantum processor.

The workshop will introduce students to the gate-based model of quantum computing and teach people how to write quantum code using a Python interface to the Rigetti machine. During the workshop we will have a “hackathon” where participants solve given problems. Participants will form teams to brainstorm and identify a challenging project, present their concept and obtain feedback, and finally return home and spend the next several months working on an implementation. What constitutes a challenging project? Demonstrating a quantum advantage would be a major accomplishment, and Rigetti is offering a $1M prize to the first team that demonstrates this on the Rigetti machine.

Target audience: Nation-wide workshop. The workshop is open to all students and industry professionals.

Prerequisite: Extensive background in quantum physics is not required but will be an asset. At the minimum, please read Chapter 1 (pp. 5-51) of “Q is for Quantum” by Terry Rudolph ($10 book). It is very easy to understand, and uses a graphical representation of quantum states which only requires basic algebra, rather than quantum mechanics equations.

Required for the workshop:
Laptop. Software and installation instructions will be provided. We will be using laptops during the workshop.

Cost: $50. Refreshments will be provided.


Feb 19 Feb 20 Feb 21 Feb 22



Introduction to

Quantum computing


Rigetti and the QCS

platform [Tushar Mittal]

Applications of QC in

advanced materials


[Yamazaki & Senicourt]

Hackathon, Team

brainstorming [Chrostowski,



Introduction to

quantum algorithms


PyQuil & Forest SDK

[Amy Brown]

continued Quantum simulators [Salfi]

Quantum algorithms in

the NISQ era


Circuit Examples


From theory to realworld

applications in

Optimization [Aramon]

and Machine Learning

[E. Zahedinejad]

startup creation, VC funding

[John Davies]: translating

research to commercial



Quantum Error



Project Brainstorming /

Pyquil Questions [Mittal

& Brown]

Quantum Machine

Learning [Krems]

Hackathon, Team


6:00 Dinner party

Limited travel subsidies available.

Accommodations, examples: