Quantum Education Resources


AtomAt what levels is quantum education available?

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), typically for high school
  • Undergraduate, or bachelor’s level
  • Graduate, master and doctor’s (Ph. D.) degrees
  • Workforce training for adults that already have a job.

What are the majors where quantum education applies?

  • Physics, specifically Quantum Physics and Quantum Information
  • Hardware engineering, such as device physics, cryogenics, system design
  • Software, including both software for quantum computers and support software for regular computers
  • Mathematics, including algorithms and complexity theory

In support of the topics above, vendors and other entities provide learning tools, such as:

  • Books, games
  • Quantum simulators, for teaching how to program quantum computers
  • Real quantum computers available on the Internet
  • Software tools, such as compliers, frameworks


What does an undergraduate curriculum look like? An example from U. T. Austin:

In the video below, Brian La Cour of UT Austin provides an overview of an undergraduate curriculum.

UT Austin has an interdisciplinary programming including a quantum information, or math, branch and a hardware or electrical engineering branch based on quantum optics.

The math branch includes topics such as

  • Quantum and Classical Complexity Theory
  • Introduction to Quantum Information Science

The hardware branch comprises

  • First year from the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) under the College of Natural Sciences
  • Second year of a year-long program for 30 incoming CNS freshman:
  • Spring Quantum Information Basics
  • Summer Experimental Quantum Optics (optional)
  • Fall Quantum Programming

This educational program is funded in part by ARL:UT and the National Science Foundation

Download presentation slides (PDF, 3 MB)


What does a graduate quantum education program look like? An example from the University of New Mexico:

The physics depart at the University of New Mexico has put several representative courses online as a public service.

Quantum Optics – A general course in quantum information science

Physics 566, Quantum Optics I, Fall 2019 (Deutsch - videos, lecture notes, homework)

Physics 581, Quantum Optics II, Spring 2018 (Deutsch – videos, lecture notes, homework)


What resources are available from companies?

Resources are available from companies for support of those quantum products, as well as other companies that principally create educational materials.


For an overview of what to expect from companies, Mariia Mykhailova gave an overview at ICRC 2019 below. Other vendors have interesting products as well, that are listed below with information they provided to IEEE.


What about the long term? Introduction to quantum curriculum standards:

Quantum computing will not be the first new computing technology to enter the mainstream, so it can be expected to follow the same general growth pattern as computer science, data science and so forth. Curriculum standards, which are strongest at the at the undergraduate level, are set by ABET. Yet ABET receives recommendations from organizations with subject matter expertise. IEEE and ACM jointly participate in the CSAB (Computer Science Accreditation Board), which has supplied recommendation in the computer science area. It seems likely that CSAB will provide recommendations in the quantum engineering area as the field matures.

In the video below, Allen Parrish, a member of CSAB, offer a review of how curriculum standards have been developed in computer science and ideas about how quantum education may come together over time.


What additional material is available for educators?

This appendix includes a list of educational materials that has been lightly vetted by experts drawn from IEEE members. Organizations interested in adding to this list are invited to contact the sponsors.


Quantum Computing Expert Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty | WIREDTalia Gershon, IBM, Explains Quantum in 5 Levels of Difficulty, 25 Jun 2018
Quantum Computing - Top 3 Microsoft Breakthroughs with Krysta SvoreQuantum Computing - Top 3 Microsoft Breakthroughs with Krysta Svore, 2 Oct 2017
Quantum Computers Explained - Limits of Human TechnologyQuantum Computers Explained – Limits of Human Technology, 8 Dec 2015
Q2B: Keynote - John Preskill, CaltechQ2B: Keynote | John Preskill, Prof. of Theoretical Physics, Caltech, 20 Dec 2017
Quantum Computing for Dummies: A Simple Explanation for Normal PeopleQuantum Computing for Dummies | Sean Ong, 31 Mar 2016
Quantum Computer in a Nutshell (Documentary)Quantum Computer in a Nutshell (Documentary) | Pawel Dobosz, 11 Oct 2014
Quantum theory: it's unrealQuantum theory: it's unreal | Terry Rudolph, Imperial College London, 5 Nov 2014
Quantum Computers AnimatedQuantum Computers Animated | J. Preskill & S. Michalakis, 22 Aug 2013
You don't know how Quantum Computers work!You don't know how Quantum Computers work! | Frame of Essence, 28 Oct 2015
The Mathematics of Quantum ComputersThe Mathematics of Quantum Computers | PBS Infinite Series, 16 Feb 2017