Quantum Computing Mentorship Program

Connecting quantum enthusiasts with mentors from academia & industry.

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General Overview

You’re invited to participate in our Quantum Computing Mentorship Program.

With the support of a mentor who is an expert in the field and a global community of like-minded people, you’ll complete an open-source project to contribute to quantum computing software as an individual or in a team of up to 3 members.

Why?

The idea for this program comes from the fact that many people from diverse backgrounds want to learn more about quantum computing but they face many challenges, such as:

  • Shortage of educational materials at the intermediate level,
  • There are many “blind alleys” that one can get into, which might severely slow down their progress,
  • It’s easy to get a distorted view of the field from the outside.

By pairing people with mentors we want to help them overcome these hurdles and create interesting projects, which will, in turn, will help others.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about the story behind the program and how the application process looks like from our perspective on one of the program’s organizer’s (Michał Stęchły) blog.

Project Highlights

Cohort one (March 2020 to June 2020): mentorship projects.

Cohort two (October 2020 to January 2021): mentorship projects.

Timeline

The program is running in cohorts. Here is the timeline for the next cohort, which will start in March 2021. If you would like to be informed about updates, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook!

Program milestone Timeframe
Program applications released Application deadline is February 7th, 2021
Applications review February 2021
Pairing mentors with mentees and defining projects’ scope Early March 2021
Mentees and mentors work on projects March 2021 - June 2021
Program wrap-up and promotion of all open-source projects Late June 2021

How does it work?

  1. Application
  2. Assessment task
  3. Mentor and project assignment
  4. Project!
  5. Finalizing

Application

To take part in the program, you need to fill in an application form. Link to the application is available at the top and bottom of this page.

Assessment task

We know that just reading someone’s CV is not enough. We also know that reading the description of this program might not be enough for you to tell whether it’s something you would enjoy. That’s why we will send “homework tasks” to people who filled in the application. You will have 2 weeks to complete them, from the moment you submit your application. It will be the second step of the assessment process.

To get an idea of what to expect from these tasks, you can find the assessment tasks from the first cohort here and the second cohort here.

Mentor and project assignment

Based on applications and assessment tasks, the QOSF team and the mentors will choose people who would be admitted to the program. Mentors will choose who they want to work with and will contact their mentees with ideas for the project.

Once both you and your mentor agree on the project, you will work together to plan its exact scope.

Project

Finally, we have arrived at the most exciting part! You will work on the project under the supervision of the mentor. This part will last for a maximum of 3 months.

Most (but not all) projects will probably fall into one of two categories:

  • Contribution to existing software projects.
  • Research projects – implementing papers, reproducing results, etc.

You can also take a look at the list of projects from the first cohort or second cohort to get a better idea how such projects could look like.

Finalizing

The project is done – great! But your job is not over yet. What good will do the project that no-one knows about? Now it’s time to wrap it up and promote – depending on the nature of your project, it might be either a blog post, paper, tutorial or something entirely different.

Requirements

Below you can find the minimal requirements for participation in the project.

Knowledge of quantum computing basics

While we don’t require expertise, you need to know the basics. We don’t want to specify it exactly, but if you have done any of the things below, you probably know enough:

  • Read a book about quantum computing (e.g. Nielsen and Chuang),
  • Finished a course on quantum computing (online or at your university),
  • Implemented some quantum algorithms on a simulator.

A place which probably gathers all the necessary basics in one place is Quantum Computing for the Very Curious – if after reading this essay you feel like everything sounds new, then it might be a sign that you need to study a little bit more before applying.

Coding skills

Projects in this program are about writing software – while you don’t need to be a professional software developer, you need to have practical coding experience - at least a year.

When it comes to programming languages, Python is the most prominent language in quantum computing right now and is a preferred language for this program. However, knowing Python is not a requirement – there might be some interesting projects involving other languages.

Also, working knowledge of one of the major quantum computing libraries like Qiskit or pyQuil will probably be helpful.

Motivation

We estimate that finishing such a project would take about 80-100 hours of work. Since we plan the projects to last for up to 3 months, it means it might take you about 6-8 hours per week to finish them. We know it’s a lot of time, but we also know that there is a lot of effort behind every great software project. That’s why we want the participants to be highly motivated and committed – if you have other commitments and won’t be able to spend that much time on a project in the upcoming months, perhaps it’s better to wait.

Mentors

What would a mentorship program be without the mentors? We have invited a diverse group of professionals, from both industry and academia to be mentors in this program.

We are still finalizing who the mentors for the upcoming cohort will be. In previous cohorts, we have had mentors such as:

Summary

  • The goal of the program is to create an open-source project related to quantum computing.
  • Experts from industry and academia will help you build this project.
  • The deadline for the application is February 7th, 2021.

You can find link to the application form here.

FAQ

How will the work with mentors look like?

First, you will have a call with your mentor to get to know each other and decide on the details of the projects. Then, your mentor will check-in with you every two weeks, to make sure you’re on track with the project and you’re not stuck. In the meantime, there will also be a Slack channel, where you can ask them questions or schedule a call if you need that and they will do their best to answer you quickly.

We would like to apply as a team

We do accept groups of up to 3 people. In such a case, we require you to provide some information about the projects you have done together. Please fill in a separate application form for each of the team members. Also, each of the team members should solve and submit screening tasks separately.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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