(IBM.QuantumBlog) IBM Quantum is committed to building the best future for quantum computing through our hardware, our software, and perhaps most importantly, through the people we’re welcoming to the future quantum workforce.
As we honor and celebrate Black History Month, it’s worth reflecting the state of our own field. Science has long suffered from a lack of diversity, and especially a lack of Black scientists, due to a history that at times explicitly and implicitly barred their participation. In the field of physics, for example, Black Americans represent only 1 percent of the total number of PhDs. And the number of Black students graduating with a physics PhD has been decreasing since 2012. These unacceptable statistics are not in line with our vision for the future of quantum computing.
We have a lot of work to do if we want to build the vibrant quantum workforce that we envision, some of which we’ve already kicked off. This past September, we launched the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, now offering educational support, research funding, and hardware access to 23 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States.
In recognition of Black History Month, IBM interviewed a few of our growing cohort of Black team members working to build the future of quantum computing. The four featured here perform indispensable roles at each level of the quantum stack, from researching quantum algorithms and their potential applications to building a global quantum ecosystem. We hope you’ll follow along and celebrate their accomplishments with us today and into the future.
Interviewees included:
Gavin Jones: Manager, Research Staff Member – Quantum Applications
Suhare Nur: IBM Quantum Global Lead for Commercial Ecosystem
Mark Schulterbrandt: Software Engineer for Quantum Systems
Cheniqua “Che” Allen: Workforce Advocacy Project and Events Manager, IBM Quantum

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