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Appalachian Quantum Initiative

This project brings together an interdisciplinary team to explore the creation of an NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute that leverages the quantum computing and supercomputing strengths of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Challenge Institute will help break down barriers that have limited quantum computing primarily to physicists. The team will hold a series of colloquia and workshops that bring together experts from academia, industry, and national labs to engage researchers from a broad range of STEM fields in a discussion on how they can take advantage of Quantum Information Science in their own research. All states in the US southeastern region, except the State of Virginia, have higher poverty rates than the national average. An important task in the proposed activities is the development of an educational curriculum capable of introducing STEM students, regardless of background, to Quantum Information Science, providing the foundations for internships and developing the future workforce. These tasks will be accomplished in close collaboration with regional industry and national labs, contributing to the development of the research infrastructure in the region.