Rene: Hi! Welcome to QuBites, your bite-sized pieces of quantum computing. My name is Rene from Valorem Reply and today we're going to talk about updates from Azure Quantum and the quantum learning world. And for this, I'm very honored to have a special expert guest today, Dr. Kitty Yeung. Hi Kitty, and welcome to the show! How are you today?
Kitty: Hi Rene! Really nice to see you, thank you for having me on the show! How are you?
Rene: I'm doing fine. And I know you do some fantastic artwork and fashion design, I mean just look at the background there, you have all of that here. And [there are] a lot of other creative things you're doing, like for example, even doing comics! Like, creating comics to explain quantum computing while you also have a PhD in Applied Physics, right? So this is a miracle! How does it work? And can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as it relates to quantum computing and all the other amazing things you are doing?
Kitty: Sure! Thank you. So, I am a Senior Program Manager working at Microsoft Quantum right now and I drive our education and user research efforts. So, I use arts as you mentioned, as a way to communicate science and technology. So, I love to reach people through interesting and engaging content and educate them about quantum computing as well as physics. As you mentioned earlier, I do have a comic book that I made last year that teaches people how quantum computing works, through a very fun way.
Rene: Very awesome! Where can we get your comic book actually? Is it in store or can we download it somewhere?
Kitty: Yeah, it's actually a lot of the drawings are on my website, and you could get a book from Amazon. So, if you search for my website and look for quantum computing comics, and my name, you probably will find it.
Rene: Awesome! And we will put a link into the description of the video. So, let's dive into it. Yeah, so, very impressive and let's dive into today's topic. In QuBites Season 1, we already talked with your colleague Fabrice Frachon and also with the Azure Quantum MVP, Dr. Sarah Kaiser, about Azure Quantum, QDK, Q#, and all the other goodies. And this was the end of 2020, when we talked in Season 1 around these topics. So, what happened since then in the Azure Quantum Computing world? Any updates?
Kitty: Yeah, definitely! So, when you talked to Sarah and Fabrice, it was late last year and we had our Azure Quantum Cloud Service that was in private preview. On February 1st, we launched our Azure Quantum public preview. So, now everyone can sign up for an Azure subscription and also use our hardware, through the cloud, and access different types of quantum computing hardware as well as optimization hardware and build your solution onto [Azure Quantum]. And there's a vast variety of Microsoft's own solutions as well as our partner solutions and hardware you can chose from.
Rene: Nice! So, Azure Quantum is now public preview, and everyone can go to Azure Quantum and sign up for it. So, you don't need to have a private preview access or anything like that, everyone can get started, which is fantastic!
Kitty: Yeah, and we have a lot of learning materials to help you get hands on. So, we have the [Microsoft] Learn content, which my team produced. A series of hands on, interactive tutorial that teaches you how to build a Q# program, how to use the Quantum Development Kit, and how to access the hardware and run your program on Azure. And we also have a lot of documentation that is also open source. So, if you want to contribute and see something that you would like to improve, you can submit improvement requests and get involved.
Rene: Nice, that's awesome! And you also launched the Azure Quantum learning website, which I would call it's kind of a portal right? Where you can access all the different learning material related to Azure quantum. Like you mentioned, that [Quantum] Katas, the different tutorials and Microsoft docs. And, you know, your open-source projects, and the samples and so on, and that is so amazing! I actually need to show it to everyone here real quick. Let me switch to my website here, so that you can see it.
So, this is the website. You can basically [find it by searching in your browser] for Azure Quantum Learning. And this is so cool, you can actually select the kind of interests you have. Like, ‘I'm just curious about it’, ‘I want to teach quantum computing’, ‘I want to solve a specific problem’, etc. And then you can select all of that and just look at the qubit on the right-hand side, right? It will change the state. And this is so cool because we're talking about quantum mechanics and programming. And you can say like, ‘hey I have a good knowledge in that space’, and basically you customize your own qubit on this website, which is just amazing right? So, go to the website, customize your own qubit, and then go for it and enable some Azure Learning! Anything else you want to add to the Azure Quantum learning website and the portal I just mentioned?
Kitty: Yeah, that's exactly [it]. Thank you for showing the website. It is a very fun way to get a series of materials that's customized to your needs. So it asks you a couple questions and then you would list the different types of content you can access, based on your particular background specific needs and your goals. It also is a one stop place for all of the learning materials that we already offer at Microsoft. You will be able to find the MS Learn module that I mentioned earlier, the documentation, etc. And you might have heard of the Quantum Katas, which is a set of tutorials we built for specifically learning programming language Q#. So, it's got an engaging set of interactive activities that you can [access]. You don't have to actually install anything if you use the Jupiter notebook option. Or you can download it to your computer and use your other IDEs to run the Katas. We also have a lot of case studies that we share so you can read what existing customers are already using quantum computing or optimization solutions for, and you can build something similar. We also have a lot of events that we list on the website and also request forms for university curriculum. So basically, yeah, check it out and find the information that you need!
Rene: Especially, [speaking of] the online learning sessions and so on, I attended the early workshops before, like the half day workshops for Azure Quantum. And they were really good, so I highly recommend if there is a full version upcoming that you definitely attend it. And you can find the recordings of workshop one and two also on this website, Azure Quantum learning, that link is there, right?
Kitty: That’s right, yeah.
Rene: Alright, thank you so much Kitty for being part of the show! It was amazing and time was flying, so we could talk for much much longer. But again, thank you so much for sharing your insights and also showing us all the amazing work you're doing. Very much appreciated!
Kitty: Thank you! Yeah, [I] appreciate you doing all these and giving the community the information that they need. Thank you so much for doing this.
Rene: Thank you. And so, folks make sure to check [out] Kitty’s book, the comic book, to order that. And also follow her on Twitter, it's @KittyArtPhysics, that's her Twitter handle. And check the website and all the amazing learning content of course right
Kitty: Yeah, definitely go on to the Azure quantum learning website! So, the URL is very easy, azure.com/quantum/learn.
Rene: Awesome! And thanks everyone for joining us today for another episodes of QuBites, your bite sized pieces of quantum computing. Watch our blog, follow our social media channels, to hear all about the next episodes, and thank you so much. Take care and see you soon. Bye, bye!