CO 481 / CS 467 / PHYS 467: Introduction to Quantum Information Processing, W2019

Instructor: Debbie Leung

Email: wcleung(at)uwaterloo(dot)ca

The final grade of the course will be calculated according to the formula 50% for 5 assignments, 15% quiz, 30% final exam, and 5% iClicker. There will be no curving nor redistribution of marks. Assignments are due on Crowdmark without extensions to individual students (due dates may be delayed if there is a major conflict for a significant fraction of the students). Since each assignment carries 10% of the course total, students should allocate sufficient amount and start early, and seek help from the instructor or TAs promptly.

The quiz, held Feb 14 with grading expected to finish before the end of reading week, is compulsory, and students must score 35% or above to pass the course. The quiz is set up to help students assess their standing in the course well in advance of drop day.

STUDENTS WHOSE GRADUATION PLANS CAN BE AFFECTED BY DROPPING THE COURSE MUST DECIDE BY ADD DAY (JANUARY 20) IF THE COURSE IS SUITABLE. This is well before any assigned work will be available for assessment, so a take home test on linear algebra and proof will be given (unweighted towards the course total) and due Jan 16 Wed (tentative, with marking time frame to be confirmed with the TAs). Any doubt should be discussed with the instructor as early as possible; for example, by emailing your transcript to the instructor sufficiently in advance (and please note that the instructor will be travelling and speaking at a conference Thur Jan 17 after class and the entire day of Jan 19, during which she will not be available to answer questions).

This is a 400-level course which requires some background material in multiple subjects (quantum mechanics, theory of computation, circuits and algorithm, matrix analysis, linear algebra, proofs, probability, and combinatorics).

Some materials covered in PMATH399 (which will be offered W2019 the first time by Professor William Slofstra) or the equivalent can be very helpful and relevant for CO481/CS467/PHYS467, but all necessary background beyond the official prerequisites will be provided. The expectation within CO481/CS467/PHYS467 is that, students missing some of the background are welcomed to enroll, and we will provide a quick summary to the background in the theory of computation and quantum mechanics, with the understanding that students new to any of the subjects can catch up with additional effort and with help from the instructor and TAs. Clarification questions in the mathematical derivations and/or physical intuitions are encouraged in lectures. Students are welcomed to audit PMATH399 while taking CO481/CS467/PHYS467 if they want to see a deep and thorough discussion on the background.

While the course only requires a small amount of knowledge from a diverse list of subjects, the course material has difficulty commensurate with a 400-level course in both the mathematics faculty and the science faculty. Furthermore, the course material is simultaneously that of a 400-level mathematics course AND a 400-level physics course, and is highly interdisciplinary. Therefore, students may find themselves in the need of additional background and/or effort compared to other 400-level courses within their programs.

Last but not least, students will be treated to some of the most counterintuitive, amazing and beautiful ideas in computation, cryptography, and deep understanding of quantum mechanics found in the last 3 decades.