(CampusTechnology) Mary Grush, Editor & Conference Program Director of Campus Technology conducts a Q&A with Travis Humble, a distinguished scientist and director of the Quantum Computing Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a joint faculty appointment at the University of Tennessee, where he is an assistant professor with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.
Grush and Hubmle discuss the advancement of quantum computing and its entry into higher education curricula and research.
Humble discusses the Bredesen Center and its dedication to interdisciplinary research, to educate graduate students, and to address the interfaces and frontiers of science that don’t fall within the conventional departments. For me, those objectives are strongly related to my role at the laboratory, where I am a scientist working in quantum information. And the joint work ORNL and UT do in quantum computing is training the next generation of the workforce that’s going to be able to take advantage of the tools and research that we’re developing at the laboratory.
Humble sees his responsibility as a gateway to get people involved with quantum computing: It’s an exciting area that’s largely understaffed. There are far more opportunities than there are people currently qualified to approach quantum computing.
Humble points out that access to quantum computers is rapidly increasing through remote web interfaces that enable people from all over the world to access these rare resources.
For many universities, quantum computing is becoming part of their mission — along with the goal to enable and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers about how they can build on quantum tools and use them to understand what comes next.
And the university, while it is enabling the education of the workforce, it is simultaneously enabling a whole new economy around quantum technologies.