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High-Performance Computing

U Illinois-Urbana Champaign and IBM Partner on Quantum and AI Research

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Grainger College of Engineering is embarking on a 10-year partnership with IBM to support research, education and skill development in emerging technologies. At the center of the initiative is the creation of a new IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute at the college, which will feature "deep collaborations to develop communities of discovery across IBM, Grainger Engineering and the UIUC campus; research funding for UIUC in hybrid cloud, quantum information, materials, and sustainability; hiring of additional faculty and talent at UIUC; and a new facility for research in computing and quantum technologies at UIUC," according to a news announcement. The goal: to "accelerate the discovery of solutions to complex global challenges."

The institute will enable IBM research teams to work side-by-side with University of Illinois faculty and students, "weaving together the strong scientific foundation of an academic institution and the real-world translational expertise of a large industrial research organization," the announcement said. Areas of study will include:

  • The use of artificial intelligence to expand the potential of edge computing and cloud security capabilities across public and private clouds;
  • Quantum information systems, architectures, materials and algorithms;
  • The use of AI to accelerate the discovery of new materials and solutions to global challenges; and
  • Sustainability-focused innovations in technology and practices.

Another area of focus will be high-tech workforce development and increased access to STEM education. For example, IBM will work with the university to develop educational curriculum and graduate programs in quantum computing that combine academic research with industry experience.

"This institute with IBM is a pioneering new model of how we can build academic and researcher collaboration into technology and innovation at unmatched excellence and scale," said Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in a statement. "What excites us the most is imagining the exponentially expanded possibilities in these new emerging fields that will define the 21st century."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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