As a new member of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, Tennessee State University has joined the nation’s first quantum education and research initiative for historically Black colleges and universities. The aim is to help students and faculty build skills in quantum computing and increase diversity and inclusion in the field.

NASHVILLE – (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University officials envision their students being on the cutting edge of technology in the fields of finance, digital manufacturing and military affairs now that TSU is a member of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center.

In effect, TSU has joined the nation’s first quantum education and research initiative for historically black colleges and universities. The aim is to help students and faculty build skills in quantum computing and increase diversity and inclusion in the field.

Dr. Glenda Glover

“With the creation of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and aerospace designing just to name a few, quantum computing has quickly become an emerging technology,” said TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover.

“The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center partnership helps TSU prepare our students and faculty to be innovators in this field. It is an absolute game-changer when we consider our current climate and how research could lead to new discoveries in medicine and drug development.”

TSU is one of 10 newly added institutions that comprise the 23 HBCUs that have joined the Center to date. The university will have access to IBM quantum computers on the cloud, as well as opportunities for joint collaboration on research, education and community outreach programs.

“IBM’s priority in launching the Center is to support and facilitate quantum research and education for HBCU faculty and students as part of the growing quantum workforce,” said Dr. Kayla Lee, product manager for Community Partnerships, IBM Quantum.

“We’re proud to continue building on the momentum of the founding institutions and looking forward to collaborating with Tennessee State University to build a quantum future.”

Established in September 2020, the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines for the quantum future. It emphasizes the power of community and focuses on developing students through support and funding for research opportunities, curriculum development, workforce advocacy, and special projects.

Jeia Moore

Jeia Moore, a TSU junior from Memphis majoring in business information systems, said she’s glad the university is now part of the Center.

“IBM has opened opportunities for me, my peers and my university,” she said. “Having a firsthand experience of the nation’s first quantum initiative for HBCUs will allow me to grow and develop in the computing world. I am grateful to see companies invest in me, my peers and Tennessee State University.”

The Center’s goal is to build a sustainable quantum research and education program by:

* Increasing the number of Black students educated in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE),

* Strengthening research efforts of faculty at HBCUs in QISE,

* Providing opportunities for scholarships, fellowships and internships, and

* Empowering HBCUs to lead in the quantum workforce and broader Black communities

The 25 HBCUs participating in the Center were prioritized based on their research and education focus in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science and other STEM fields.

Dr. Michael Harris, TSU’s interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said, “This partnership will provide our faculty and students with excellent opportunities to pursue research and specific tasks in quantum and its impact on computing, a leading technology guiding fields across business and industry.”

Iris Ramey, director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at TSU, agreed.

“Our students and faculty are anxious to begin the high level of research and learning that the Center will require,” said Ramey. “We are grateful to IBM for this opportunity.“

(For more information about the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, read HBCU Center Driving Diversity and Inclusion in Quantum Computing.)