Instructor Information

David Zaret

Work Phone: 443-778-0815

Course Information

Course Description

Scalable quantum computers aren’t here yet. But recent progress suggests they may be on their way, and that it is now time to start planning for their potential impact: NSA announced in 2015 a shift in focus from elliptic curve to quantum resistant cryptography, and NIST has initiated a large-scale study of postquantum cryptography. This course provides an introduction to quantum computation for computer scientists: the focus is on algorithms rather than physical devices, and familiarity with quantum mechanics (or any physics at all) is not a prerequisite. Instead, pertinent aspects of the quantum mechanics formalism are developed as needed in class. The course begins with an introduction to the QM formalism. It then develops the abstract model of a quantum computer, and discusses how quantum computers enable us to achieve, for some problems, a significant speedup (in some cases an exponential speedup) over any known classical algorithm. This discussion provides the basis for a detailed examination of quantum integer factoring, quantum search, and other quantum algorithms. The course also explores quantum error correction, quantum teleportation, and quantum cryptography. It concludes with a glimpse at what the cryptographic landscape will look like in a world with quantum computers. Required work includes problem sets and a research project. Prerequisite(s): Some familiarity with linear algebra and with the design and analysis of algorithms.


Foundation Prerequisites for Cybersecurity Majors:EN.605.621 AND EN.695.601 AND EN.695.641

Course Goal

Provide an introduction to quantum computation: study the way in which peculiarly quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement can be exploited in the design of algorithms that solve certain problems faster than classical algorithms can. More generally, develop the basic concepts of quantum information.

Course Objectives

  • Develop the concept of a quantum computer.
  • Work through the details of the fundamental quantum algorithms developed by Deutsch, Shor, and Grover.
  • Investigate the implications of quantum computing for the theory of computation.
  • Investigate the basic concepts and techniques of quantum cryptography.

When This Course is Typically Offered


  • The classical Church-Turing thesis
  • Quantum mechanics formalism
  • Interpretations of quantum mechanics
  • Quantum gates and circuits
  • Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm
  • Shor's quantum factoring algorithm
  • Grover's quantum search algorithm
  • Quantum random walks
  • Quantum error-correcting codes
  • Quantum cryptography

Student Assessment Criteria

Problem Sets 60%
Research project 40%


Textbook information for this course is available online through the MBS Direct Virtual Bookstore.

Course Notes

There are no notes for this course.

(Last Modified: 06/17/2015 10:56:52 AM)