Thesis on ML using real quantum HW

Hi all. I have recently read most of your tutorials and have seen videos on PennyLane. and I was surprised how the quantum machine learning is easy to do! Great Work! So I want to prepare calls for bachelor’s and master thesis at the Faculty of Information technology in Prague to get students involved in some handson experience with QML. I have supervised many theses related to using ML on astronomical data. So my idea is to ask the students to compare the classical GPU based and Quantum supported (e.g. Hybrid) neural networks and unsuprvised techniques for e.g. classification of astronomical spectra, finding outliers , clustering, bayesian learning etc …
I am aware that still the quantum HW is not yet so powerful, to get supremacy, but IMHO its time to get into . Originally I wanted to ask the students to get also account on some real HW and I was thinking about Borealis. But after reading this list I understand you do not have now freely available HW anymore and we should look for other option. Could you give me some advice what HW would be 1) freely accessible, PennyLane compatible (has plugins) and comfortable for some real quantum demonstration say at the end of this year (when the students will have enough experience on simulators and would like to play on Q HW? )
Best regards Petr Skoda

Hi Peter @skoda, welcome to the forum!

It’s great to hear that you like our content. Thank you for your kind words.

My recommendation is always to start teaching the fundamentals of quantum computing and learn how to compare classical vs quantum algorithms. We actually have a really good blog post and a paper on benchmarking ML vs QML. There’s so much that you can learn from running on simulators that I’d first focus in these.

Of course, running on hardware has its own magic so for students I usually recommend running a small experiment on IBM machines. It’s very important to note that IBM currently only gives you access to 10min of free compute time on their open plan so this is why I only recommend running small tests after everything works well on a simulator.

We have a plugin and code examples that you can use. We’re actually planning to release a new version of PennyLane in two weeks which will be compatible with the latest version of Qiskit.

We also have specialized support for university professors who’re interested in teaching with PennyLane. Please make sure to fill out the “get in touch” information on our Education Page and someone from our team will reach out to you shortly via email.

If you prefer not to reach out there that’s ok too, just let me know and I can share some other resources here.

Let me know if you have any other questions!