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Quantum Computers Tackle Big Data with Machine Learning

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Every two seconds, sensors measuring the United States’ electrical grid collect 3 petabytes of data – the equivalent of 3 million gigabytes. Data analysis on that scale is a challenge when crucial information is stored in an inaccessible database.

But researchers at Purdue University are working on a solution, combining quantum algorithms with classical computing on small-scale quantum computers to speed up database accessibility. They are using data from the U.S. Department of Energy National Labs’ sensors, called phasor measurement units, that collect information on the electrical power grid about voltages, currents and power generation. Because these values can vary, keeping the power grid stable involves continuously monitoring the sensors.

Sabre Kais, a professor of chemical physics and principal investigator, will lead the effort to develop new quantum algorithms for computing the extensive data generated by the electrical grid.

“Non-quantum algorithms that are used to analyze the data can predict the state of the grid, but as more and more phasor measurement units are deployed in the electrical network, we need faster algorithms,” said Alex Pothen, professor of computer science and co-investigator on the project. “Quantum algorithms for data analysis have the potential to speed up the computations substantially in a theoretical sense, but great challenges remain in achieving quantum computers that can process such large amounts of data.”

The research team’s method has potential for a number of practical applications, such as helping industries optimize their supply-chain and logistics management. It could also lead to new chemical and material discovery using an artificial neural network known as a quantum Boltzmann machine. This kind of neural network is used for machine learning and data analysis.

“We have already developed a hybrid quantum algorithm employing a quantum Boltzmann machine to obtain accurate electronic structure calculations,” Kais said. “We have proof of concept showing results for small molecular systems, which will allow us to screen molecules and accelerate the discovery of new materials.”  

Machine learning algorithms have been used to calculate the approximate electronic properties of millions of small molecules, but navigating these molecular systems is challenging for chemical physicists. Kais and co-investigator Yong Chen, director of the Purdue Quantum Center and professor of physics and astronomy and of electrical and computer engineering, are confident that their quantum machine learning algorithm could address this.

Their algorithms could also be used for optimizing solar farms. The lifetime of a solar farm varies depending on the climate as solar cells degrade each year from weather, according to Muhammad Alam, professor of electrical and computer engineering and a co-investigator of the project. Using quantum algorithms would make it easier to determine the lifetime of solar farms and other sustainable energy technologies for a given geographical location and could help make solar technologies more efficient.

Additionally, the team hopes to launch an externally-funded industry-university collaborative research center (IUCRC) to promote further research in quantum machine learning for data analytics and optimization. Benefits of an IUCRC include leveraging academic-corporate partnerships, expanding material science research, and acting on market incentive. Further research in quantum machine learning for data analysis is necessary before it can be of use to industries for practical application, Chen said, and an IUCRC would make tangible progress.

“We are close to developing the classical algorithms for this data analysis, and we expect them to be widely used,” Pothen said. “Quantum algorithms are high-risk, high-reward research, and it is difficult to predict in what time frame these algorithms will find practical use.”

The team’s research project was one of eight selected by the Purdue’s Integrative Data Science Initiative to be funded for a two-year period. The initiative will encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and build on Purdue’s strengths to position the university as a leader in data science research and focus on one of four areas: health care; defense; ethics, society and policy; fundamentals, methods, and algorithms. The research thrusts of the Integrative Data Science Initiative is hosted by Purdue’s Discovery Park.

“This is an exciting time to combine machine learning with quantum computing,” Kais said. “Impressive progress has been made recently in building quantum computers, and quantum machine learning techniques will become powerful tools for finding new patterns in big data.”

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Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India

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Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India. 

Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India. 

“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.

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ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament

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ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.

The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.

Tournament Structure

The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion. 

The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:

  • Country qualifiers
  • Country finals
  • Asia Pacific finals

Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.

Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals. 

Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.

Prizes

3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:

ROG Masters APAC ChampionshipAPAC Finals (USD/ team)
1st$10,000
2nd$3,500
3rd$1,500

Registration and Official Tournament Website

Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.

Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.

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Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars

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Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.

Tournament Format

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region. 

The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively. 

Invited Teams

The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia. 

The team captains for each nation are: 

India

  • Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
  • Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
  • Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)

Bangladesh

  • Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
  • Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
  • Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)

Nepal 

  • Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
  • Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
  • Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)

Pakistan

  • RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
  • Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
  • The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)

Broadcast Details:

Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!. 

To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.

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