What How Why – quantum explained

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What How Why – quantum explained

Today as many industries look to reinvent, IBM is working with businesses embracing new challenges and accelerating their digital transformation plans. All whilst the world continues to face the full impact of COVID-19.

This period has certainly highlighted the need to be prepared for the future. In fact, according to a new study* over four fifths (83%) of Brits believe it is essential for the UK to invest more in emerging technology and skills in order to improve its capacity to address major issues such as pandemics, to solve complex problems such as climate change and rebuild the things that matter.

A huge part of this investment is in our young people and ensuring there is a focus on high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Technology) education. The good news is that the general public is in complete agreement with 94% claiming there are numerous benefits to children having a good STEM education. Whether it’s helping young people understand the world around us (71%), promoting problem solving skills (69%), improving career prospects (66%) or supporting innovation and future economic growth (57%), the nation is key to ensure that young people are provided with the appropriate skills to help protect the UK in the future.

IBM already has extensive and successful programmes including P-TECH and IBM SkillsBuild to help address these skills gaps.  P–TECH is IBM’s public-education model that provides high school students from underserved backgrounds with the academic, technical, and professional skills and credentials they need for competitive STEM jobs. IBM SkillsBuild provides free, online, skills-based learning and support no matter where you are in your career journey, developed by technology experts.

This December IBM invited schoolchildren from a school in Whitechapel, London and students from P-TECH colleges in Leeds and Dublin to directly ask us to explain quantum computing, including what it is, why it is important for the skills they will need in future and how it will make a difference to the world they are growing up in.

The encounter has resulted in a brand new series of videos entitled What How Why with IBM. With each video just 15 mins in length, we cover topics from an introduction to quantum computing in terms everyone can understand, the applications and skills needed for a future with quantum computing to how quantum computing could be used to address big societal issues like sustainability and climate change.

Each video is also introduced by Bobby Seagull – a maths teacher and well-known celebrity who first starred in University Challenge in 2017 representing Emmanuel College Cambridge. He now presents his own shows on Radio 4 and BBC 2 TV, and is regularly invited to chat shows and day-time TV.

These videos are for everyone, we hope you enjoy them. Here’s the first of the series:

Introduction to quantum computing: Part I

Introduction to quantum computing: Part II

Introducing Quantum Computing: Part III

And if you’d like to find out more about quantum computing or even have a go at writing your own first quantum program then here are a few links you might like to explore.

  • Real quantum computers. Right at your fingertips:
  • Qiskit, the open-source software development toolkit to start programming quantum computers:
  • – a free on-line leaning platform for students and job seekers with courses and badges from leading providers and includes quantum computing content


*Skills & the Economy Survey:

    • The research was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB
    • All surveys were conducted between 6th December 2021 and 8th December 2021
    • The sample comprised 2,001 UK adults
    • All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019)
    • RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (2018)

WW Development Discipline Leader - Cloud Garage IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software

James Wootton

Research Staff Member, IBM Research Zurich

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