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COS 506: Quantum Computing for Physical Systems


Course Title

Quantum Computing for Physical Systems

Course Code

COS 506

Course Type




Instructor’s Name

Prof. Constantia Alexandrou (Lead Instructor), Dr. Stefan Kühn



Lectures / week

2 (90 min. each) for 5-6 weeks

Laboratories / week

2 (90 min. each) for 1-2 weeks

Course Purpose and Objectives

The goal of the course is to provide a basic introduction to quantum computing and quantum information theory. Students will learn essential theoretical concepts in the field as well as algorithmic approaches with a focus on the circuit model of quantum computation.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be introduced to the circuit model of quantum computation and learn various established quantum algorithms providing speedups over the best known classical algorithms. Analyzing those in detail, they will acquire skills in understanding the origin of quantum speedups as well as in designing quantum programs. Complementary hands-on sessions will provide practical experience on how to implement quantum circuits on existing, small-scale quantum hardware. Students will also learn how to apply these methods in the context of interacting many body systems with a focus on overcoming limitations of existing classical simulation techniques.



Background Requirements

Knowledge on quantum mechanics, basic computational approaches

Course Content

Weeks 1-3
-  Reversible classical computations, quantum logic gates and quantum circuits
-  Di Vincenzo’s criteria for qubits and implementation of qubits and gates in physical systems
-  No-cloning theorem, superdense coding and quantum teleportation
-  The Deutsch-Josza algorithm
-  Complexity theory and the Church-Turing thesis
-  Grover’s search algorithm

Weeks 4-7
-  RSA cryptography and Shor’s algorithm
-  Quantum error correction and fault-tolerant quantum computing 
-  Algorithmic approaches for noisy, intermediate-scale quantum devices: hybrid quantum/classical algorithms
-  Quantum simulation

Teaching Methodology

-  (10-12) x1.5 h Lectures depending on the audience
-  (2-4) x 1.5 h hands-on sessions
-  2-4 homework assignments
-  Presentation of final project


-  Course notes
-  Michael A. Nielsen, Isaac L. Chuang, Quantum Computation and Quantum Information


The following assessment methods will be combined for the final grade:

-  Coursework
-  Final project



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