Fall 2021

CPSC 647: Quantum Computer Systems

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Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00pm - 2:15pm ET

Location: AKW 200

This course will explore the advanced topics in quantum computer systems design. We will spend some time develop the mathematical basis of quantum computation and information, then examine powerful techniques in quantum application and architecture design. Students will learn to work with the IBM Qiskit software tools to write quantum programs and execute them on cloud-accessible quantum hardware. Topics covered in this course include quantum programming, quantum algorithms, quantum compilation, memory management, quantum error correction, and some research topics. Students will be asked to read and discuss selected research papers and conduct novel research in a semester-long individual/group project. This course is intended primarily for PhD and MS students; advanced undergraduates may enroll with the permission of the instructor. Students must be comfortable with discrete probability, linear algebra, computer architecture (e.g., CPSC 323). Prior experience in quantum computing is useful but not required. We anticipate this course will be of interest to students working in computer science, electrical engineering, physics, or mathematics.

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Logistics
Classes

This course will be an introduction to research topics in quantum computer systems. It consists of three major components:

  • Lectures. We will use the first half of the semester to introduce the area’s core concepts and techniques. Each week, we will have a short quiz. The quizzes will cover major concepts from class and are intended to test basic conceptual understandings. Topics to be covered will likely include:
    • Quantum states, quantum operations, quantum circuits
    • Quantum entanglement, teleportation, no-cloning theorem
    • Program compiling and memory management
    • Basic quantum algorithms including Bernstein-Vazirani, Deutsch-Jozsa, Grover, quantum walk, and variational algorithms
    • Quantum error correction, including stabilizer formalism, Calderbank-Shor-Steane and stabilizer codes, magic state distillation
  • Paper Reading. In the second half of the course, we will read research papers from top-tier theory and systems conferences and physics journals. Students will be expected to form in-class discussion groups and share findings with the class.
  • Research Project. Students will have the opportunity to work on course projects individually or in small groups. Students with a variety of areas of expertise are highly encouraged to collaborate. A final presentation will take place during the final weeks of the semester.
Textbooks and Readings

There is no required textbook for this course. Instead, we have a list of recommended textbooks and some course readings (which will be updated and linked from the schedule below). Recommended textbooks and references:

  • Quantum Computer Systems, by Ding and Chong. Free access via Yale VPN [link].
  • Quantum Computation and Quantum Information, by Nielsen and Chuang.
  • Other course readings will be (open-access) research articles.
Course Assignments and Evaluations
  • Paper discussion (25%)
  • Short weekly quizzes (25%)
  • Project proposal (15%)
  • Final report (35%)
Course Readings and Discussions

In some weeks, the class will meet in the form of group discussions on one or two assigned readings. Students are required to participate in these discussions and share their findings with the class. To verify that students understand the reading well, we assign each group with questions to answer during the discussion. Readings and questions will be posted one day before class. Students can opt-out of at most one discussion class to work on the course project instead. Please discuss it with the instructor in advance if you need to miss additional classes due to travel or other exceptional circumstances,

Quizzes

All quizzes are due on Yale Canvas by 5:00PM on the due dates (usually on a Friday), unless otherwise specified. No late submission will be accepted. In exceptional circumstances, students can request special permissions from the instructor for late submissions. The lowest quiz score will be dropped and not counted towards the final grade. The best way to prepare for these quizzes is to attend lectures, watch review videos on Canvas, and critically read the assigned articles.

Project

Students will have the opportunity to work on course projects as an individual or in small groups. A list of recommended projects will be posted early in the semester. Students who wish to bring their own project ideas should discuss them with the instructors early. Below is a brief overview of some project-related action items:

  • Monday, September 20: Receive feedback from the instructor about project ideas.
  • Friday, September 24: Submit the project preference form.
  • Monday, September 27: Finalize group assignment.
  • Friday, October 1: Submit a project proposal (2-3 pages) per group by 5:00PM. The project proposal should include a clearly stated research question and its significance, your approach to the problem, a timeline for completion of research.
  • Schedule a meeting with the instructor to discuss progress. During the meeting, students should be prepared to present their project goals, highlight their progress so far, and discuss any problems they have or will likely run into.
  • Monday, November 1: Submit a written progress report by 5:00PM. The written progress report has no page limit but should include the research question, study methodology, draft related work, and results or lessons so far.
  • Wednesday, November 17: Sign up for a time slot for the final presentation.
  • Early December: Give a 20-min final presentation in class.
  • Friday, December 10: Submit a final paper by 5:00PM. The final paper does not have a page limit but should include all basic sections of a research paper: abstract, introduction, background and related work, methodology, results, outlook, and references. Please submit the paper as a single PDF per group via Canvas.
Policies and Wellness

Covid-19. Yale has returned to in-person teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. According to the university covid-19 guideline, instructors and students are required to properly wear face coverings while in classrooms. As such, we will plan a 5-min break in each class to allow everyone to go outside and take off masks, health conditions permitting. All covid-19-related policies are subject to change as we closely monitor the situations in the community. Please refer to information posted on the university website for details of covid-19 related policies.

In-class Engagement. This course made several modifications in its teaching and learning practices:

  • Selected course materials will be posted as short videos on Canvas to allow students to review at their own pace.
  • Incremental assessments over time are implemented instead of high-stake timed exams.
  • Hybrid office hours provide the students with flexibility in ways to reach out to the instructor.
  • Group discussions are integrated into classes to enhance student interactions.

Well-being. The well-being of students is important to us at Yale. We know it has been an especially challenging time for many of us over the past year or two, and the university experience can be overwhelming at times. We all rely on support as we navigate during times of struggle. If you or anyone you know are experiencing any stress, anxiety, or isolation, please consider reaching out to a friend, family member, or faculty you trust. If you have a personal emergency that might impact your work in the class, please let Yongshan know so that appropriate arrangements can be made. You may also consider some helpful resources available on campus -- The Good Life Center is the official student wellness center of Yale University and is supported by the Yale Well Initiative.

Schedule

This course schedule is tentative; please check frequently for any updates.

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Wednesday, 09/01

Lecture: Introduction to QC - A CS perspective
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 09/03

Lecture: From bits to qubits
Due: Course welcome survey on Canvas (5 points)
Readings: None

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Monday, 09/06

Lecture: No class (Labor Day)
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 09/08

Lecture: Quantum circuit model I - States and Density Operators
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 09/10

Due: Quiz 1 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)

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Monday, 09/13

Lecture: Quantum circuit model II - Transformations
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 09/15

Lecture: Quantum circuit model III - Measurements
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 09/17

Due: Quiz 2 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)

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Monday, 09/20

Lecture: Quantum circuit model IV - Entanglement
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 09/22

Lecture: From circuits to architectures
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 09/24

Due: Quiz 3 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)
Due: Project Preference Form

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Monday, 09/27

Lecture: Quantum compiling and universality
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 09/29

Lecture: Superdense coding and quantum teleportation
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 10/01

Due: Project Proposal at 5:00PM ET on Canvas

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Monday, 10/04

Lecture: Black-box access, Bernstein-Vazirani, Deutsch-Jozsa algorithms
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 10/06

Lecture: Grover's algorithm
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 10/08

Due: Quiz 4 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)

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Monday, 10/11

Lecture: Circuit complexity, reversibility and uncomputation
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 10/13

Lecture: Classical simulations of quantum circuits
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 10/15

Due: Quiz 5 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)

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Monday, 10/18

Discussion: Variational algorithms
Due: None
Readings: VQE, QAOA, partial compilation

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Wednesday, 10/20

Lecture: No class (October recess)
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 10/22

Due: Quiz 6 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)

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Monday, 10/25

Discussion: TBD
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 10/27

Lecture: Principles of quantum error correction
Due: None
Readings: None

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Monday, 11/01

Discussion: TBD
Due: Written progress report at 5:00PM ET on Canvas
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 11/03

Lecture: Stabilizer formalism
Due: None
Readings: None

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Monday, 11/08

Discussion: TBD
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 11/10

Lecture: Calderbank-Shor-Steane code
Due: None
Readings: None

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Monday, 11/15

Discussion: TBD
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 11/17

Lecture: Magic state distillation
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 11/19

Due: Quiz 7 at 5:00PM ET on Canvas (5 points)

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Monday, 11/22

Lecture: No class (November recess)
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 11/24

Lecture: No class (November recess)
Due: None
Readings: None

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Monday, 11/29

Lecture: Quantum Simulation (tentative)
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 12/01

Discussion: Project group discussion
Due: None
Readings: None

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Monday, 12/06

Presentation: Final project presentations during class
Due: None
Readings: None

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Wednesday, 12/08

Presentation: Final project presentations during class
Due: None
Readings: None

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Friday, 12/10

Due: Final paper at 5:00PM ET via email

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