Introduction to Quantum Computing

Course homepage

Prof. Rahul Simha


Welcome to an interdisciplinary, introductory course in Quantum Computing!

  • The course will be offered in Spring 2023, 3.45-5.00pm Tuesdays/Thursdays.

  • Important:
    • To register:
      1. First fill out this Google form
      2. We will send out emails after permission is given. This could take a week after registration opens.
    • Course number for undergrads: CS-3907, Section 88.
    • Course number for grads: CS-6907, Section 84.

  • The course website (this one) will be developed as the course proceeds.

  • The course is open to interested undergrads and grads from computer science, engineering, mathematical and physical sciences, and anyone else with the background and curiosity.

  • The most important prerequisites for the course are:
    • A full (undergraduate) course in linear algebra, equivalent to Math-2184, or Math-2185, or CS-4342.
    • Willingness and interest in working through mathematical formalism and notation.
    • Curiosity.
    Note: there will be no programming required in the course, although optional programming projects may be included.

  • What can you expect in terms of coursework?
    • Homework problems
    • A final exam
    • Grad students will have additional work and will be separately graded.
    Since this is an elective course with conceptually challenging material, the overall workload will be less than that of a typical required computer science course.

  • Finally, let's ask: why should anyone be interested in quantum computing?
    • Global investment in quantum computing is expected to to grow to $10B/year in 2024 (source), including $1B/year from the U.S. government's National Quantum Initiative.
    • Quantum computing involves a radically different type of hardware and thinking, building on quantum mechanics (which is itself quite different from Newtonian physics).
    • See what others say: IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon.

  • Some questions the course will address:
    • How does quantum computing work, and how exactly does it exploit the strange quantum properties of matter?
    • How does quantum computing break conventional cryptography, and why is a quantum network far more secure?
    • What is meant by quantum teleportation and entanglement?
    • What did Einstein get wrong? (The EPR paradox and its resolution).

© 2021, Rahul Simha