An Introduction to Quantum Computing

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

It has been said that quantum physics is the closest thing to magic in the real world. This course will teach you the fundamentals of quantum mechanics from the practical perspective of computer science, while introducing the exciting and fast-developing field of quantum computing. We will build from scratch a basic understanding of qubits, and then delve into the fascinating subjects of quantum cryptography and algorithms.

We will start by introducing the concept of quantum states, and developing students' understanding of the crucial concepts of quantum superpositions, entanglement and measurements. Some light mathematical machinery will be introduced, including the relevant notation, linear algebra, and probability theory. We will proceed to explore how quantum states may be utilized for cryptography purposes, how they may be "teleported" and used for computation.

The course will be based on interactive learning, with students discovering the fundamentals of quantum information theory through problem solving. We will also utilize various simulators of relevant experimental setups available on the web and explore quantum circuits with the help of IBM's quantum computer simulator.

The study of qubits does not require advanced mathematics, but captures the key aspects of quantum theory. Therefore, this is a perfect playground not only to think about computer science applications, but also to develop an intuition for quantum physics. We will seize on this opportunity to discuss several settings in which the difference between quantum and classical world is made manifest.

Students should come out of this course with a basic understanding of quantum mechanical framework, why quantum computation can outperform classical computation, and familiarity with main results of this field. Familiarity with this topic would greatly help those interesting in studying physics, or its interface with computer science.

*Students are highly encouraged to bring their own laptops to campus if they plan on enrolling in this class. The course work will be heavily dependent on having access to a laptop. For those students who do not have one, there may be loaners available through our Computer and Information Technology center. Laptop loaners are provided on a "first come, first served" basis.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: none - all are welcome!

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPI0923
  • Length: 1 week

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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