HAMPTON, Va. (September 25, 2020) – Hampton University is part of IBM’s new Quantum education and research initiative, along with 12 other HBCUS, aimed at driving a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce. The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center will offer access to its quantum computers, as well as collaboration on academic, education and community outreach programs.
“We extend our gratitude to IBM for their investment, not only in Hampton University students, but in many other HBCUs nationwide. Our students will have access to a repository of resources including software, guest lectures and Cloud technology, which will expand opportunities to those who will make an impact in the world of STEM. Our inclusion in this Quantum Center validates Hampton University’s commitment to being a high-level research institution across the many fields of STEM,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
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 will emphasize the power of community and focus on developing students through support and funding for research opportunities, curriculum development, workforce advocacy, and special projects.
“We believe that in order to expand opportunity for diverse populations, we need a diverse talent pipeline of the next generation of tech leaders from HBCUs. Diversity and inclusion is what fuels innovation and students from HBCUs will be positioned to play a significant part of what will drive innovations for the future like quantum computing, cloud and artificial intelligence,” said Carla Grant Pickens, Chief Global Diversity & Inclusion Officer, IBM.
The 13 HBCUs intending to participate in the Quantum Center were prioritized based on their research and education focus in physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and other STEM fields.
“At Hampton University, in the School of Engineering and Technology, we always strive to be leaders in innovation and research, as well as in preparing our students, both in and out of the classroom, to be successful in their fields. With this new partnership, our faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have already received IBM training in quantum computing, cloud, and cyber security over the summer. We are pleased to be collaborating with IBM through this new initiative,” said Dr. Joyce Shirazi, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology.
In addition, as part of the company’s continued efforts around diversity and inclusion, IBM will make a $100 million investment in technology, assets, resources and skills development through partnerships with additional HBCUs through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.
The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive, integrated program designed to create a foundation of diverse and high demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the workplace. The learning tracks address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, design thinking and quantum computing.
The response to combating systemic racism in the US must be timely, strategic and more than a statement of support. The response needs to be tangible action. IBM’s investment in HBCUs is part of the company’s efforts around social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to unlock economic opportunity and prosperity.
For more information about the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, read HBCU Center Driving Diversity and Inclusion in Quantum Computing.