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USRA Partners with North Carolina A&T in Expanding Quantum Information Science and Engineering Education under NSF major program

Washington, D.C. – December 22, 2023.  The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) has been issued a subaward from the NSF's ExpandQISE program, a major effort part of the National Quantum Initiative connecting leading institutions in quantum science with diverse student populations. The grant will enable USRA and its partners to develop and test cutting-edge quantum algorithms, enhance educational resources, and establish new quantum science labs, contributing significantly to the nation's quantum research and education landscape.


Dr. Davide Venturelli, Associate Director for Quantum Technologies at USRA, will lead a scientific collaboration with N.C. A&T State University (NCAT), the prime awardee, as well as with the project partners which include the quantum software startup qBraid, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The leading Principal Investigator of this Track 2 award which will last 5 years is Prof. Raymond E. Samuel. In their launch press release, Prof. Samuel noted “We’re doing research in two things. One is using quantum computing to design better quantum materials, the second is using quantum computing technology to solve complex mathematical equations.

As part of the award, USRA will provide research support in software development, supporting NISQ compilation and benchmarking, theoretical analysis of nonlinear methods, and co-leading work on quantum machine learning for hypersonic flow applications. Moreover, USRA will engage in workforce development activities involving co-mentoring graduate students, supporting the use of qBraid and HPC platforms, utilizing open-source software for NISQ computing, co-organizing thematic workshops, and promoting the dissemination of research outcomes in various ecosystems related to NASA, DOE, NSF, DOD programs.

Dr. Venturelli stated, "I am excited to work with the NCAT and partner teams to advance the state-of-art in the design and testing of quantum neural networks and variational algorithms, which are leading paradigms in the search of near-term quantum advantage with quantum hardware." Beside the ambitious research outputs to introduce physics-informed principles in quantum machine learning, Dr. Venturelli highlighted the importance of this collaboration in fostering a quantum-proficient workforce.


About USRA

Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. Government, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a nonprofit corporation chartered to advance space-related science, technology, and engineering. USRA operates scientific institutes and facilities and conducts other major research and educational programs. USRA engages the university community and employs in-house scientific leadership, innovative research and development, and project management expertise. More information about USRA is available at www.usra.edu.