研究& Innovation

Educational Bas|ket>ball Game Is a Slam Dunk with Young Quantum Computing Students


Man playing basketball in sunset

What’s the best way to learn about advanced quantum computing? AG体育 physics student Kaitlin Gili ’20 has the perfect solution—go shoot some hoops! Gili has long enjoyed playing basketball on traditional courts和 now she has created Bas|ket>ball, a game that aims to help high schoolers understand advanced quantum computing concepts while being physically active.

“I wanted the game to be a physical activity, so that students could visualize abstract quantum mechanics topics such as qubits, superposition和 quantum gates,” Gili said. “In quantum mechanics, we refer to a wave function as a ‘ket,’ and it is written in as | >, so that’s how the name developed.”


在研究吉利的第一个灵感来了 - 当然,打篮球 - 在实验量子信息处理2019年本科学校在滑铁卢大学两周(useqip)计划,当她和她的同事参与者意识到在这个双关语势单词“KET” -short的“菜篮子”。


Photo of Gili and high school students
在齐神采飞扬: The Quantum Information (QI) High team that inspired the invention of Bas|ket>ball include (from left) instructor Sean Karg; high school students Grace Conlin, Alex White和 Emma Dezenzo; instructor Kaitlin Gili; and program advisor Dr. Rupak Chatterjee.

“One night, I was supposed to teach advanced quantum computing topics on superposition and entanglement, and it was difficult for the girls,” she recalled. “At the same time, the weather was just right, and I really had the urge to play basketball! I thought that a visual would help, so working with Sean, I developed Bas|ket>ball, based off of quantum rules. It’s essentially how quantum bits, or qubits, work. I had wanted to make the concepts easier for the students, and it did. They actually enjoyed learning while playing—they all said it was helpful和 they all wanted to keep playing all night!”

Bas|ket>ball might have remained a fun Friday night activity for three high schoolers if Gili’s advisor, research associate professor Dr. Rupak Chatterjee, hadn’t realized that her little game could do big things.

“起初,我并不认为这是什么特别的,”吉利回忆。 “我走进医生。查特吉的办公室一天,我提到我刚刚玩这个篮球比赛,教量子与高中生计算,他们说,他们理解主题这么多。他建议我尝试发布它为更广泛的物理学界“。


量子计算的话题可以是抽象的,但培育量子计算机专家的好处是非常真实的。现场展示的巨大潜力,以支持信息处理显著的进步,甚至开裂,保护敏感的全球企业和政府的信息加密。AG体育的主场 中心量子科学与工程,是量子计算的发展和研究的一个向上和未来的领导者。

Gili’s efforts to translate Bas|ket>ball into a more widely accessible, computerized learning tool align with her deep passion for sparking interest in physics at a young age, because students who conquer these concepts today will be well-positioned for tomorrow’s engineering and scientific careers.

“It is important to teach younger students subjects such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning,” she said. “To that end, we should be developing learning tools, including simple games such as Bas|ket>ball, so that it doesn’t take a four-year physics degree to dive in, and so a larger and more diverse pool of students will become eager to pursue degrees in physics and computer science和 eventually specialize in quantum information and computing fields.”


“我的目​​标是有一个虚拟的篮球场,就像一个棋盘,在那里你的量子比特,打你,可以四处走动,”她解释说。 “像这样的比赛将covid-19在线学习过程中是特别好。和认识世界玩游戏周围的其他人是很酷!”

同时,吉利也期待着她的研究生量子软件工作,在新墨西哥州的洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室四个月远程实习,然后全职工作在萨帕塔计算五个月。在一月份,她会 前往英国牛津大学开始她的博士研究物理学。她也将保持非赢利性组织的首席执行官,她创办的, 鼓励妇女在所有边界.

AG体育是我们的领导感到自豪的量子物理学与创新,如 真正的随机数发生器,以及我们额外的K-12宣传活动,包括 数学界, 引进一个女孩工程!天, 国家生物力学的一天网络研讨会突然在家教育孩子的父母的帮助 在covid-19的大流行。

diagram of basketball hoop
全场紧逼的教育: This diagram describes the positions on the Bas|ket>ball court that correspond to their respective quantum states around the hoop. Each player acts as a quantum bit (qubit) in a quantum register and is initialized to the |0> position. Starting at the red marker, behind the basketball hoop, each player then takes turns choosing a quantum gate operation to move around the court and take a shot to score points.