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How African Researchers Are Creating a Quantum Community from the Ground Up (IBM Quantum Challenge Africa)


Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionise problem-solving capabilities. But in which parts of the world may it have an impact? And who will be in the greatest position to profit from this new technology? It is critical that voices from various regional, cultural, and ethnic origins participate to current research and development activities in order to create an ethical and egalitarian future for quantum computing. This isn't merely a philosophical aspiration. It's a mission of crucial relevance for members of the rapidly increasing African quantum community, as well as the world quantum community at large.

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One aspect of that aim is to ensure that quantum computing is leveraged to address issues and create opportunities unique to the African continent. With headlines like "Will Africa miss the next computational revolution?" or "Will Africa be ready to take the quantum leap?" some members of the quantum community are concerned that this will not be the case. For the quantum specialists who live and work in Africa today, the question is not whether the continent will miss out on quantum computing's huge promise, but whether quantum computing will miss out on African talent's tremendous potential. Given the continent's population trend, this might be a significant loss.



Register for the IBM Quantum Challenge Africa by clicking here. The dates are September 9 – September 20.

“By 2050, Africa's population will have doubled,” said Barry Dwolatzky, emeritus professor of electrical and information engineering at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to current forecasts, the majority of this expanding population will be young and urban, making them excellent candidates for the quantum workforce of the future, according to Dwolatzky. “They are all prospective recruits into this new world of technology,” Dwolatzky said, “so I believe we are sowing seeds today that we will see tremendous numbers coming through our universities [to] perform fantastic work.”

The history of technology is littered with examples of how things may go wrong when there is a lack of diversity among the people who build that technology, from automatic soap dispensers that don't work for darker skin tones to algorithmic bias in the criminal justice system. We may not yet know exactly where and how quantum computing will demonstrate its worth, but one thing is certain: quantum computing will be most beneficial — and cause the least harm — when it combines perspectives from the widest possible community of developers.

That is why contributions from African community members are critical, and why Qiskit has spent years cultivating this group. Last year's Qiskit Global Summer School attracted 285 participants from 26 African nations, while this year's event attracted 288 participants from 30 African countries. In South Africa in 2019, Qiskit organised the Qiskit Camp Africa hackathon, which drew participants from all around the continent.



2019 Qiskit Camp Africa

Participants from Africa displayed not only their talent, but also the unique perspective and creativity cultivated by their experiences as students, researchers, and STEM professionals living and working on the continent. Many of these participants, in particular, worked on quantum computing challenges that are essential not only because classical computers struggle to address them, but also because they are frequently disregarded by developer communities in Europe, Asia, and North America.

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These events also demonstrated that quantum computing has a lot of support across the continent. In many situations, the source of that enthusiasm was unexpected. “The attention isn't solely from physicists, as we may have expected,” IBM quantum researcher Amira Abbas said. “It originated from a variety of people, including engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and others.”

Register for the IBM Quantum Challenge Africa by clicking here. The dates are September 9 – September 20.

Engagements like this are critical for the continent's quantum community to continue to expand. After attending a Qiskit Global Summer School and a OneQuantum Women in Quantum event, Mmapula Baloi, an IBM quantum community advocate intern located in South Africa, says she became interested in the field. She is now a physics Ph.D. student at Wits University. “It was difficult to find a university in my area that provided a quantum computing education similar to The Coding School's Qubit by Qubit course,” she explained.

While colleges in South Africa are conducting quantum research, Baloi understood that anyone interested in entering the sector should take online courses geared for a worldwide audience. Baloi is also collaborating with universities around Africa to raise awareness of quantum computing research and to offer educational opportunities.

Ismail Akhalwaya, a research scientist at IBM Research South Africa, believes that establishing indigenous quantum expertise on the African continent is critical. “We haven't traditionally been a computer technology economy in South Africa, or even in Africa,” he explained, “but we need to move in that direction.”

Akhalwaya suggested that today's educational initiatives are the only way to ensure that researchers would employ quantum computing to solve African problems in the future, and that Africans will have equal access to the potential commercial advantages of a mature quantum sector in the future. He stated, "This is the moment to earn IP." “Scientists are gaining patents on new quantum technologies, and we should be involved.”

While African colleges may lack quantum hardware infrastructure, Baloi points out that Qiskit provides students with ample opportunities to influence algorithm and application development. Making an influence in this way does not always necessitate formal training.

Amira Abbas, Mmapula Baloi, Ismail Akhalwaya, and other IBM Research and Wits University quantum researchers and advocates are now collaborating to create the IBM Quantum Challenge Africa. The challenge, which was created by African researchers with the goal of engaging African students, researchers, and industry professionals, aims to expand the African quantum community and improve participants' quantum computing skills by guiding them through the application of quantum to problems in agriculture, finance, and chemistry. To capitalise on this enthusiasm, challenge creators such as Abbas and Akhalwaya have worked hard to ensure that the Quantum Challenge Africa tasks are cognitively interesting while requiring no prior knowledge of quantum computing.

The IBM Quantum Challenge Africa will take place from September 9 to September 20, 2021, and while it is primarily aimed at African participants, it is accessible to everyone from anywhere in the world. The challenge will consist of three exercises that will show how researchers may utilise quantum computing to solve problems that are particularly relevant to Africa, such as crop production logistics, financial optimization, and quantum medication development. Participants who finish all tasks will receive a digital badge that honours their progress, and no prior knowledge of quantum computing is required.

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After School is One of The Hardest Working Groups Out There
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Female Idols in School Uniforms Before & After Debut
Ello mates! School uniforms in Korea is very popular and pretty! We probably always wanted to wear them right? We see our favorite idols wearing them either for a drama or a CF. Here are some female Idols before and after debut pictures with school uniforms! AOA - ChoA ♡ APink - Eunji ♡ KARA - Hara Girl's Day - Hyeri ♡ Sistar - Hyorin ♡ IU ♡ Rainbow - Jaekyung ♡ Lee Hyori ♡ After School - Nana ♡ Girl's Generation - Seohyun♡ AOA - Seolhyun ♡ MissA - Suzy ♡ GFriend - Yerin♡ Girl's Generation - YoonA ♡ 4minute - HyunA ♡ Before and after they all look pretty :) Linku: (Credit to Allkpop) http://www.allkpop.com/article/2016/04/then-and-now-female-idols-in-school-uniforms-before-and-after-debut *Kpopint does not own any of these photos. Reporter @parktaemi KPopINT Chairs: @bbyitskatie @MichelleIbarra @Sailynn KpopINT Fam: @amobigbang @daniimals @elaynethtrumpet @Gaarita100 @JohnEvans @Insfired @KpopBeat @krystalrikpop @LenaBlackRose @LexiMintkgtopty @ParkHwaYoung @reyestiny93 @Stefany17 @tayunnie Tagging more of my fam @mercii @kpopandkimchi @ercurrent @PrincessUnicorn @roxy1903 @yongsongmi @sarangseoltang @nnatalieg @allobaber @creetheotaku @poojas @lextay327 @veronicaartino @deniecesuit @beckah1327 @mellyortiz @nicolejolly @drummergirl691 @crystalguerra @carleB @eliseB @raquelarredondo @erinee @sarahdarwish @xxygxx @jennyyang143 @geetanjalirao @toppdogg @donnalykaroxas @aegyoxprincess @ninjamidori @hayleyyates @ayannawelch @yaya12 @ladeda7 @maddie27 @danamichelle @brisalopez @aliciazitting88 @sashalove @shadowcyrmbbcl @neoisrealo @taisa @sabrinasakura @kpossible4250 @topstarlight @jjrockstar @marisamusic @izzy987 @shinoyuki @starbell808 @maricelvaromero @sugamint @thetrillestkid @stephaniepoore @nicolejolly @polarstarr @pamelapenaloza @lexxcisco @rebeccalondon @vickyle @JiyongLeo  @JinsPrincess @KaeliShearer @JadeOwens @BBxGD KpopINT tag list: @krystalrikpop @DamarisCisneros @KDSnKJH @ortizwendy17 @MelissaGarza @FannyWard @StefaniTre @Kieuseru @GDsGF @Sammie99522 @izabelpillado @drummergirl691 @P1B2Bear @LizaNightshade @ScarletMermaid @AnaP @ArhenBurris @CallMeMsDragon @AyameTenchu @Pickles440 @VeronicaArtino @aliahwhbmida @ShinoYuki @ShyrllBorden @TiffanyBibian @Jasminep96 @ESwee @CloverShadows @mellyortiz @ekahjw @moonchild03 @NykeaKing @AubriePope @maldonadosonia1@monikad @mycreativename @AaliyahNewbell @Swhitta @Jasminep96 @xxkkarlah @jenjenkhreim @JessicaVang @SatinSkies @BluBear07 @ninjamidori @CamrynCherry @Jinnyrod3 @MadAndrea @imiebegay14
National Library Workers Day!
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Things To Say To Our Idols On Twitter, Instagram, etc.
안녕하세요! So, I've been on Twitter and for the past few days, I've been seeing fans replying to idols' tweets, saying, "F*** me." or "Daddy." I think this is extremely disrespectful to our lovely, hard-working idols. Here are some nice things to say to our idols on Twitter and Instagram. ^^ (This ___ means someone's name goes there! ^^) ___ 사랑해. (I love you, ___.) 화이팅! (Fighting!) ___ 힘내. (“___, I support you." or "___, feel better.”) ___ 힘내고 사랑해. (___, feel better. I love you.) 항상 응원해. (I support you always.) ___, 생일축하해요. (Happy birthday, ___.) 건강하고 행복하세요. 좋은날을지내요. 사랑해요. (Always stay happy and healthy. Have a good day. I love you.) 이런 소문에 휩쓸려 맘아파하지말아요.사실이 아닌걸알아요.우리가 항상 뒤에있을께요. 힘내요, 알았지요? (Please don't let rumors get to you. We know they're fake. We're always here to support you guys. Keep your heads up, okay?) 본인을잘챙겨주세요. 힘들게노력하는것을알고있으니까 많이 걱정하기도하지만 뿌듯해요. 당신이 건강하고 행복할때 우리팬들도 가장행복해요. (Please take care of yourselves, we know you work very hard and this makes us both very proud and worried. Your fans are happiest when you are happy and healthy.) 기쁨가득한날을 보냈으면 좋겠어요. 많이사랑해요. 건강하고 많이쉬세요. (I hope you have a wonderful day full of joy. I love you very much. Stay healthy and rest lots!)
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Raising Sharp Readers
Here's an excellent article by Colby and Aliana Sharp, about how they are raising their three (soon to be four) children as readers. Colby is a founding member of The Nerdy Book Club, and I've followed his blog for years, but this insight into how he and his wife foster a love of reading at home provides great tips to share with parents. I've always believed surrounding children with books makes it inevitable that they will explore them, even if they can't read them yet. Corralling them on a single bookcase means books are easier to overlook. Remember, books are competing in most houses for attention. Leave them everywhere--they're not clutter, they're decor:) Be a reader yourself. One of my friends, an avid reader and book reviewer, remembers her mother stirring a pot with a book in her hand. Dinner was often overcooked, but reading was established as something very important! For some of us, local bookstores are a thing of the past, but the internet can allow you to connect your child with authors, keep up to date on new releases, and yes, seek out those elusive author visits, even if you have to drive a bit. Other tips that Colby and Aliana share include giving books as gifts (that's all I send my nieces and nephews. Scour the end of the year best book lists if you're not familiar with new children's books, or give classics that you enjoyed.) Also, frequent visits to the library to ensure you have a great selection--our library allows unlimited checkouts, and I love seeing a child carrying a large sack of books out the door. While you're at the library, be sure to explore all there is on offer--let your children pick out CDs or videos, play with puzzles or toys, etc. Our library has an outdoor space connected to the children's library. Believe me, creating positive memories about the library don't just have to involve books, but they will get kids back in the door when they're older! There are several other interesting tips in this article, so be sure to read it in its entirety, then share with parents with young ones.
Kpop Relatables for every Kpop fan. You do this too, don't lie.
Hey everyone! In honor of today being my birthday starting.. 3 hours ago, I have decided to post these relatable and fun kpop pictures I have found and wanted to share with you all. I wanted to make sure you all got a couple laughs and know that you are absolutely not alone in this community. I just found some of these while I was looking up kpop things( like I always do) and stumbled upon them. Thank you all for always being there and tagging me in things i may like. It always makes me feel wanted and like I'm part of something which is something I have always wanted. If any of you ever want to talk or let me know what you want me to post about, you can always message me or comment, my inbox is always open!! Enjoy guys!!! I'm pretty sure most, if not all of us have done this at one point or another. Even I did it yesterday when I watched the end of the dance for EOEO by Uniq when they are grinding on the floor- yes I literally said "I wish I could be that floor." This is true in a lot of ways. Having a bias sometimes does seem better than having a boyfriend. Having a bias as a boyfriend would be AMAZING!! But also I've set my boyfriend bar so high to match my bias, so that's one reason I will never have a relationship. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ! Am I the only one that does this? Ah eye smiles. They hit you right in the feels! The eye smile isn't iconic just because our idols are so adorable when they do it (although it is a big part of it) but it's that they happiness that shows on their face that makes their smiles huge and their eyes sink away to tiny adorable slits. Haha. I think we can all agree eye smiles are dangerous, heart melting things. Who do you think has the best eye smiles in kpop? ^ㅅ^ This couldn't be more true to me. What people who aren't kpop fans don't understand is, we have all joined together and not just became friends and fellow fans, but we have also become a family who support each other and each other's fandoms. Yet another statement that couldn't be more true. Before kpop, I wouldn't have met so many people both here and outside of the Vingle kpop community. Before someone mentions they like kpop i find it hard to take a lot of interest in them but once the word kpop comes up, I break into my kpop loving self. And a lot of the time, we become friends and continue to stretch kpop love across the world. These quotes just make me smile and are over all inspirational to me. I really enjoy how wise and knowledgable our idols are. They are more than people may think. I've heard people say, "yeah they are good at singing and dancing, but that's all they are good for." But we all know that's not true. Our idols rank high in sports, school, languages, performing and so much more, which makes me happy when I read these amazing words they say in their music and in real life. Being a kpop fan takes a special kind of person. We are able to look past the language barriers, the distance, the age differences, the unnecessary and sometimes hurtful remarks from others and still support and love continue to love Kpop and idols with all our hearts. No matter how hard it may be to be a kpop fan, international or not, we still stick it out and support that Hallyu wave all the way!!! As I said before, we have some of the most wise people as idols. This quote from CL makes me incredibly happy and I couldn't have said this better myself. I get bashed all the time by people I don't know, non-kpop friends and even my family always saying there is no point to listening to music that you can't understand, but what they don't understand is music truly IS universal. You don't have to know the words to a song to be able to jam to it. Honestly, since I'm so used to kpop, even though I can't understand what they are saying, it doesn't seem like a foreign language to me. So there is no point to the hating on kpop music and it's fans, because to us, we can enjoy the music just fine without knowing the words. And we are proud of it!! And yes, I have thought about this a lot before. My parents don't really get why I like kpop, but I even said to them, "it could be worse, I could be drinking, doing drugs, partying and hooking up with guys like most kids my age." But I don't really do that. My social life is just a relationship between me and my cell phone. And all of you of course. I really gotta get out more, but I like staying in and doing nothing. Who else has had this problem where your family just really doesn't get that this is a good thing and you could be doing MUCH worse things? This is just a relatable kpop thing that I thought many of you would know about and have also done. There are so so so many pictures of my biases on my phone of the EXACT SAME PICTURE!! I just never know if I had saved it or not. There are times where I'm like "I know for a fact that I have seen this picture," so I screenshot it and when I go through all of my pictures later on, It turns out I have seen it before (a few times apparently) and thought the same thing back then too, so I have multiples of the same pics. These are just things I feel that I want to happen just because I am a fangirl and I do honestly think I can end up with my bias someday. It's true. There have been times where I needed to focus on my studies so I tried to leave the kpop world and I couldn't even do it for a day, let alone forever. Kpop is just to Fantastic to even try to leave. Once we got you, you ain't ever gonna be able to leave. You're in for life. I've done it. I bet some of you have too. Kpop does take over your world, but it's actually a good thing. Since I became a kpop fan, my life has become better and I've met some really good and dependable people who can relate to me as well. Fangirling is my job though, besides my actual job... Yeah, international fans can relate. Being an international fan, you learn to make it work. One of the things we must make work is the distance and knowing we won't be able to see concerts unless we watch the fancams. And even though it's hard sometimes, fancams are fun to watch because there are so many from so many different angles and shows that it makes being an international fan easier. Find your bias idols and groups! Let me know who is your favorite!! The light stick oceans. "Only in kpop can you see the different colors of the ocean" I love kpop oceans; they are a life goal of mine, and I really hope to get to be in one one day. What about you guys? Have you been in a light stick ocean before? Which ones if so, and if not whose would you want to be in most? And lastly, the things that connect us are not only how crazy we are, but that we are all crazy together. Kpop has the ability to bring different people together and give them something in common that most people can never relate to. It makes me really happy when I randomly think about the people I have met from being into kpop and the thing I have learned. Since I started listening to kpop and learning about korea in general I've learned to be more considerate of people and to try and understand people more for what they like and not judge them for it. Kpop has absolutely changed my life for the better and I can't and don't want to imagine what my life would be like without it.