PHYS 407
Introduction to Quantum Computing
Spring 2021 Syllabus

Instructor: Carlo Segre segre [at]
166d Pritzker Science Center 312.567.3498
Office hours:   Tuesday & Thursday or by appointment
Schedule: Posted at
Meetings: Tuesday & Thursday 17:00-18:25, 240 Pritzker Science Center
Textbook: Quantum Computing: A Gentle Introduction, Eleanor Rieffel & Wolfgang Polak, (MIT University Press 2011).
  1. Clearly describe the building blocks of quantum computing.
  2. Apply tools of quantum computing to manipulate qubits.
  3. Clearly describe the fundamental hardware used to realize quantum computers.
  4. Clearly describe the purpose and realization of quantum gates.
  5. Use the concept of quantum entanglement to develop quantum algorithms.
  6. Clearly describe the techniques of quantum error correction and fault tolerance.
  7. Build quantum algorithms using IBM Qiskit.
  • Quantum building blocks
    • the quantum mechanics of photon polarization
    • single quantum bits
    • single qubit measurement
    • quantum key distribution
    • state space of a single qubit system
  • Multiple qubit systems
    • quantum state spaces
    • entangled states
    • multi-qubit measurement
    • quantum key distribution with entangled states
  • Measurement of multiple qubit systems
    • Dirac notation for linear transformations
    • projection operators for measurement
    • Hermitian operator formalism
    • EPR paradox and Bell's theorem
  • Quantum state transformations
    • unitary transformations
    • simple quantum gates
    • application of simple gates
    • unitary transformations as circuits
    • universal gates
  • Quantum algorithms
    • quantum Fourier transform
    • Shor's algorithm
    • Grover's algorithm
    • other quantum algorithms
  • Robust quantum computation
    • quantum error correction
    • fault tolerance
    • robust quantum computing
  • Homework:      Homework will be assigned weekly or bi-weekly, due as shown on the schedule. All homework assignments will be collected except as announced. Homework will be due at the beginning of the class period, prior to the start of the lecture unless otherwise stated. No late homework assignments will be accepted unless prior arrangements are made.
    Exams:      Policies for the examinations will be set as the semester progresses.
    Grading:      The percentage weighting for each component are shown below. The final letter grades will be awarded on a scale as shown below. This scale may vary up or down slightly, depending on the difficulty of the examinations.
    Homework 30%
    Midterm Exam 1 20%
    Midterm Exam 2 20%
    Final Project 30%
    Max % Grade Min %
    100 A 88
    88 B 75
    75 C 62
    62 D 50
    50 E 0
    Class Climate: I strive to provide an inclusive climate in which each student feels welcome and free to question, contributes to the discussion, thrives and learns independent of gender identification, race, sexual orientation, disability, economic background, national origin or religious affiliation. I expect students to contribute actively to this learning environment through open and respectful verbal and written communication with me and the other students.
    Discrimination or harassment of any form will not be tolerated
    I welcome any and all suggestions for improving your learning environment this semester. Feel free to send me a short e-mail if you wish to be called by a name different than that on the official roster. Please also let me know which pronouns you'd like me to use when referring to you this semester - this is not required but it will help me make you as comfortable as possible. I prefer to be addressed as either Dr. or Prof. Segre (he/him).
    I will have my video on during class sessions and I do not expect students to have their video on, however for Office Hours or any kind of meeting I expect that we will both have our video on.
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    Academic Honesty Policy:
    • All students are expected to adhere to the IIT Code of Academic Honesty.
    • The first violation will result in a grade of "zero" for that assignment (exam or quiz). Subsequent violations will result in a failing grade in the course.
    • All violations will be reported to
    • Use of cell phones or electronic devices during exams is prohibited.
    Accomodation for Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities. In order to receive accommodations, students must obtain a letter of accommodation from the Center for Disability Resources in 3424 S. State Street, Suite 1C3-2, 312-567-5744 or
    Important Dates:
    • Jan 22 - Last Day to Add Courses, Change Sections, etc.
    • Mar 28 - Last Day for Official Withdrawal
    • May 0? - Final Examination