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CSC3132 : Introduction to Quantum Computing (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Alex Barfield
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


Quantum computing is the most fundamental change in the theory of computing since the work of Alan Turing in the 1930s. Quantum mechanics has introduced in computing new, physically realizable constructs that have enabled major computational advances in several important problems (e.g., integers factoring, database search, and secure communications). Furthermore, fully functioning quantum computers are now freely accessible on the cloud (e.g., the IBM Q systems).

The main aims of this module are:
• to introduce the mathematical foundations of quantum computing necessary to understand the counterintuitive
features of quantum algorithms
• to present the fundamental notions of quantum computing
• to introduce several nontrivial quantum algorithms and analyse their behaviour
• to show how quantum algorithms can be implemented and run on a simulator or a quantum computer

Outline Of Syllabus

Status of the quantum computing field
Review of complex linear algebra
Qubits and measurements
Single-qubit unitary operations (NOT, Hadamard, Pauli matrices)
Approximation of single-qubit unitaries
Quantum registers (tensor products)
Entangled states and EPR paradox
Two-qubit operations (CNOT)
Tensor product of unitary operations
No cloning theorem and teleportation protocol
Deutsch-Jozsa’s, Grover’s, and Shor’s algorithms
Approximation of general unitaries (Solovay-Kitaev theorem)
The BB84 quantum key-exchange protocol
Hardware implementations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials201:0020:00Revise lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Preparation for summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Preparation for formative assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical62:0012:00PiP – computer laboratory practicals (weeks 8, 9 and 11-14).
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study62:0012:00Complete lab practicals
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study52:0010:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures convey the key theoretical concepts, algorithms, and illustrative examples that will be tried and extended upon in the lab. Quantum computing is quite counterintuitive, and therefore a solid understanding of its theory is required – this cannot be learnt by experimentation. The computer practicals give students hands-on experience with quantum circuits run on simulators or quantum computers, to reinforce the theoretical concepts delivered in the lectures.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A80Summative assessment (closed book exam)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Low stakes summative assessment (brief in-class test)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The main aim of the written exam is to assess the student’s understanding of the theory of quantum computing and quantum algorithms delivered through the lectures – this is necessary to measure to what extent the subject is mastered. The low-stakes written exercise focuses on the student’s ability to apply theory to practice and solve simple problems on the quantum algorithms presented at lectures.

Reading Lists