CSC News

January 31, 2020

Creating a Quantum Programming Curricula

Dr. Frank Mueller, professor of computer science at NC State University, has been awarded $88,775 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his research proposal entitled “Curricular Development of a Quantum Programming Class with Hardware Access.”


The award will run from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020.  Co-PIs on the project are Dr. Patrick Dreher, Research Professor in the NC State Computer Science Department, and Dr. Greg Byrd, Professor and Associate Head in the NC State Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Abstract – Quantum Computing (QC) has reached an early state of device maturity with the availability of several hardware platforms and corresponding programming environments. The potential of QC is significant as algorithms, such as Shor's prime factoring, have the potential to break the barriers of classical complexity classes and thus provide “quantum supremacy'' for such algorithms.


We propose to create a curriculum for a quantum programming class with access to cutting-edge quantum computing platforms.  Specifically, we propose to utilize cloud-based access to one gate-based platform and one annealing-based platform to provide hands-on experience with programming actual quantum hardware.  Curricular material will include the fundamentals in physics and mathematics required to understand quantum computing, introductory material to the quantum field, and programming environments for two cloud-based platforms. We also propose to develop training material suitable for tutorials at major conferences/symposia across different fields as well as online courses for faculty, staff and students. As a means to gauge success, the suitability of the material will be thoroughly evaluated statistically via surveys at the end of educational units for both classes and tutorials.


For more information on Dr. Mueller, click here.



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