3 minute read | Emerging Technologies, Culture
Authored by: Turner King-Shipman
In the latest edition of OnPoint Perspectives, Samara Schulman, President of OnPoint Consulting, and Pete Tseronis, Founder and CEO of Dots and Bridges, sat down for a chat on the complex topic of quantum computing. Their discussion focused on demystifying this cutting-edge technology, exploring its potential applications in government, and emphasizing the importance of building a quantum culture that can fully harness its world changing potential.
Samara acknowledges that quantum computing can be an intimidating topic. However, at its essence, quantum computing is a groundbreaking approach to problem-solving, given the speed of the computational processing power, as it harnesses the principles of fundamental physics to solve highly complex problems rapidly. Unlike traditional computers, quantum computing enables parallel calculations at an accelerated rate, which unlocks unprecedented possibilities.
When we bring the quantum conversation to the real world, its significance becomes even more pronounced because the faster we can solve computational problems, the more impact we can have, especially in terms of critical infrastructure and humanity.
Samara and Pete illustrate this point by highlighting potential areas for applying quantum computing as a force multiplier for breakthroughs such as the discovery of dormant cancer genes or enhanced disaster preparedness for hurricanes. Moreover, quantum computing holds tremendous potential in the medical/pharmaceutical field and logistics management domain:
However, it is important to note that the science and technology of quantum computing are still evolving. While we wait for further advancements, it is crucial to build and foster a quantum culture right now. Building this culture involves serious investments in the workforce through training and education, as well as fostering collaboration and coordination among Government and Industry stakeholders.
Samara emphasizes that “if you talk to anyone working on quantum right now, they will tell you that the science is not there yet. We have not figured out quantum 100% but the supporting structure are the areas we need to be proactive about like the workforce, the collaborative portion, the dependencies among the federal government and different agencies.”
One way to start building a quantum culture is with exciting and engaging students in K-12 education about the promises of quantum technology. By sparking their interest at an early age, we can cultivate a skilled workforce that can tackle future quantum challenges head on.
Collaboration across the federal landscape is also crucial. Each agency maintains unique mission objectives that can be enhanced through quantum computing. To establish effective standards and practices, communication and collaboration among agencies and organizations, led by groups such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA)represent just a few of our federal entities exploring the potential for leveraging quantum computing to protect our most critical infrastructure sectors and combating climate change at a more rapid rate. These are just a few of the examples of how quantum computing can underpin real-world challenges and mission needs of humanity.
A core OnPoint value is how we instill our culture into our projects and a foundational part of our culture is continuous learning. With this area being one that even though we do not have all the answers to quantum, we still need to stay smart on quantum.
As technology experts and integrators for our federal partners, it is our duty to spread awareness about transformative technologies like quantum computing and their potential to help people and achieve mission objectives.
Samara’s final thoughts to close out the conversation were to issue a call to action for everyone that we must explain it to the 7-year-olds out there who love computers, love learning, love science, love experiments to let them know about and be fascinated by the potential of quantum computing in the same way they are fascinated by the potential of space.
By building a quantum culture, educating partners on the translation of technology into tangible results, and engaging the younger generation, we can unlock the full potential of quantum computing. It is our collective responsibility to harness this transformative technology for the betterment of society and the advancement of our missions. To learn more about our work and our values OnPoint please visit our website or our LinkedIn profile to connect with us.