Epita, a renowned school training computer engineers in five years, announced on November 24 the launch of a new major to train specialists in quantum software programming. This specialization will offer 700 hours of teaching spread over 18 months. The school had already been offering a quantum minor for several years, providing 39 hours of lessons and led by Olivier Ezratty.
Skills that current engineers do not have
The new curriculum will notably include expertise in post-quantum cryptography, allowing graduates to support companies in their cybersecurity transition. Also on the program, applications for telecoms, training in hybrid architectures “combining high performance computing and quantum resources” and quantum sensors. The subjects taught will range from physics and mathematics to systems engineering, energetics, and algorithms.
“Quantum technologies require specific training to develop skills that the vast majority of engineers on the job market today do not have. These skills require a solid foundation in computer science, and require an investment of substantial teaching both theoretically and practically”justifies a press release from the establishment of higher education.
New ways of working
In a survey conducted in 2021 by the quantum software development platform Classiq, the second biggest concern of the 500 American managers surveyed familiar with quantum technologies was the lack of professionals available in the market, second only to the cost of adopting this technology.
“The shortage of qualified engineers and scientists capable of programming quantum computers is today one of the main obstacles to the generalization of this technology. Quantum computer coding is more complex than classical. Like each ‘qubit ‘ can be one and zero simultaneously – instead of either – writing quantum code is trickier. Coders need to understand quantum concepts such as superpositions. Working in this field therefore requires new ways to consider the issues and requires new working methods”explains Erik Garcell, technical marketing manager at Classiq.
Large companies and start-ups associated with the course
The pedagogical team de l’Epita will be made up of professors, researchers and professionals working in large companies and start-ups, including Alice&Bob, Atos, C12, CEA, Quandela, QuantFi, Pasqal, ThalesVeriQloud, AWS, Classic, IBMQuantum ID, Microsoft, and Multiverse Computing.
“The role of higher education in preparing students for a career in the quantum industry has so far been dominated by physics departments. However, quantum technologies, which are interdisciplinary in nature, have reached a level of maturity which calls for new ways of access”comments Michel Kurek, CEO of Multiverse France.
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Epita opens a new course to train engineers in quantum computing
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