25 January 2022 Stéphanie Dubreuil

IQ’s Quantum Enigmas Launch


The Institut quantique (IQ) of Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) is launching its animated series Les Énigmes quantiques on its YouTube channel.

Developed by the Curieux quantiques team and programmers from IBM Quantum Hub at IQ, this animated series is an original learning tool aimed at CEGEP and university students with a scientific interest. Produced by Studio Nord Est, the enigmas illustrate quantum programming key concepts in a visual, entertaining way, and in both French and English.

“We are particularly proud to collaborate with IQ on the Quantum Enigmas series. It’s quite a creative challenge to translate something like quantum programming into images. The degree of complexity is pretty high” explains Sébastien Roy, co-founder of Studio Nord Est.

Demystifying quantum computing

After visiting different CEGEPs in 2020 to deliver quantum programming workshops, Ghislain Lefebvre, partnership development manager at IQ, wanted to reach a larger number of people, and that is how the idea for the animated video series came out.

“During our quantum programming workshops in CEGEPs in the fall of 2020, we quickly realized that to improve understanding, we needed to develop an educational tool that would speak to young people. Our Quantum Enigmas are a playful universe that gives us a lot of creative latitude. We want our enigmas to reach as many people as possible and stay relevant for a long time.” – Ghislain Lefebvre

With the help of quantum computing developers Maxime Dion and Jean Frédéric Laprade as well as Tom Mallah, community development manager at IQ, Ghislain Lefebvre designed and wrote five enigmas and an introduction video. From one enigma to the next, people can deepen their understanding of quantum programming and test their logic against an increasing level of difficulty.

Even if the notion of quantum advantage is not addressed until later in the series, the idea behind the Quantum Enigmas is to translate a classical problem on to a quantum circuit, and thus inspire young people to take an interest in this rapidly growing field.

Science at the service of society

One of the strategic objectives of Université de Sherbrooke is to put technological transformations at the service of people and society.

The Quantum enigmas are a part of UdeS’ efforts to expose people to the changes likely to be brought about with the advent of new tools such as the quantum computer. It is important to start teaching today the methods and techniques specific to using this technology.

For IQ’s scientific director, Alexandre Blais, it is necessary to integrate the general population to the quantum world in order to prepare the future: “Quantum technologies are becoming increasingly present, and this is only the beginning. The timing is right to bring the scientific world and public closer together by disseminating science through educational tools such as Quantum enigmas.”

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