I was accepted as an IBM Quantum Intern for Summer 2020. While the initial purpose of the internship was to be doing lab work with the Quantum Systems Deployment team, after transferring to remote we pivoted to developing a puzzle-type game to teach Qiskit textbook readers how to use OpenPulse. OpenPulse is a lower level of quantum programming, using microwave pulses to perform operations on qubits instead of the premade and calibrated gates provided by the standard IBM platform. As OpenPulse provides users with more flexibility, and provides a more convenient interface for internal employees in performing calibrations on the quantum computers, finding new ways to teach people the intricacies of the OpenPulse system was important.
When looking for possible remote projects to work on after realizing I would not be able to work in the lab, I suggested turning the process of learning into a game. My manager was enthusiastic, and we worked with some of the IBM Research team UX/UI developers to work on building out the project. I developed a couple of prototypes, first using the Python-based web app development platform Anvil, then using widgets inside a Jupyter notebook. The research poster I presented at the IBM Summer 2020 Intern Research Poster Session can be seen here.
Shabani Lab Q-Camp
I participated in the Summer 2019 Quantum Computing internship with Bloomberg L.P. at the Shabani Lab in Manhattan, part of the NYU Center for Quantum Phenomena. Initially my main job was to go through the set intern tracks developed by the postdocs to introduce us to IBM Qiskit, but as the summer progressed I started spending more time doing physical fabrication for lab and intern projects, such as the physical Bloch sphere below.
Helmholz Bloch Sphere
As a physical representation of the Bloch Sphere, commonly used for representing quantum states, I worked with a few of the other interns to build a 3-axis array of Helmholtz coils. As the gate and the quantum state is read in our Qiskit program, programmable power supplies run current through the coils of copper wire wrapped around the laser-cut tracks, generating a magnetic field strong enough to rotate the central neodynium magnet to show the vector corresponding to the state of the Bloch sphere.