Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation

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9/10 stars
based on  64 reviews
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22316 reviews

Course Description

Quantum computation is a remarkable subject building on the great computational discovery that computers based on quantum mechanics are exponentially powerful. This course aims to make this cutting-edge material broadly accessible to undergraduate students, including computer science majors who do not have any prior exposure to quantum mechanics. The course starts with a simple introduction to the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics using the concepts of qubits (or quantum bits) and quantum gates. This treatment emphasizes the paradoxical nature of the subject, including entanglement, non-local correlations, the no-cloning theorem and quantum teleportation. The course covers the fundamentals of quantum algorithms, including the quantum fourier transform, period finding, Shor's quantum algorithm for factoring integers, as well as the prospects for quantum algorithms for NP-complete problems. It also discusses the basic ideas b...

Quantum computation is a remarkable subject building on the great computational discovery that computers based on quantum mechanics are exponentially powerful. This course aims to make this cutting-edge material broadly accessible to undergraduate students, including computer science majors who do not have any prior exposure to quantum mechanics. The course starts with a simple introduction to the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics using the concepts of qubits (or quantum bits) and quantum gates. This treatment emphasizes the paradoxical nature of the subject, including entanglement, non-local correlations, the no-cloning theorem and quantum teleportation. The course covers the fundamentals of quantum algorithms, including the quantum fourier transform, period finding, Shor's quantum algorithm for factoring integers, as well as the prospects for quantum algorithms for NP-complete problems. It also discusses the basic ideas behind the experimental realization of quantum computers, including the prospects for adiabatic quantum optimization and the D-Wave controversy.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.

Do I need a textbook for this class?
No. Notes will be posted each week. If you wish to consult other references, a list of related textbooks and online resources will be provided.

What is the estimated effort for course?
About 5-12 hrs/week.

Why is the work load range so wide?
How long you spend on the course depends upon your background and on the depth to which you wish to understand the material. The topics in this course are quite open ended, and will be presented so you can understand them at a high level or can try to follow it at a sophisticated level with the help of the posted notes.

How much does it cost to take the course?
Nothing! The course is free.

Will the text of the lectures be available?
Yes. All of our lectures will have transcripts synced to the videos.

Do I need to watch the lectures live?
No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.

Reviews 9/10 stars
64 Reviews for Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation

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Gary Kavanagh profile image
Gary Kavanagh profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
I've always wanted to understand Quantum Mechanics,but most text books begin with Schrodingers equation, with its strange looking notation, stopping you dead before you start. This course doesn't even mention Schrodingers equation until near the end. Instead, it gradually introduces you to the notation, through examples of qubits and Quantum Computation in an almost fully self- contained course (there are references to other material as well). By the time you get to Schrodingers equation, you have an "Aha" moment - so that's what they were talking about. You might even learn about quantum computing along the way ;) - Great course.
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
Umesh Vazirani is really cool. Just follow him and you will understand the panorama of this entricate subject. Refresh a bit of complex numbers and simple linear algebra before you take the course and Quantum Mechanics will appear under a new light.
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Sumesh Chandran profile image
Sumesh Chandran profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
The edX course on Quantum Computation made me saw a real picture of this subject.To me a subject such as this was extremely challenging and had no idea how to approach the subject. But edX provided me a platform to learn this and taste the tip of the iceberg..I will sincerely try to work and learn more about this subject.Looking forward for this course again. P.S:- Way to go professor.
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João Coelho profile image
João Coelho profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
I din't have any prior knowledge on quantum mechanic or quantum computation. After taking this course I'm now familiar with their concepts and notation. Porfessor Vazirani is an excelent teacher and explain all the concepts using intuition rather than mathematical proofs. His notes (and book) are very well writen and with high quality. I strongly advise all the people interested in this subject to take the course.
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Igor Sokolov profile image
Igor Sokolov profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
Interesting, but a bit too hard, if you have no background in quantum physics. But somehow manage to pass through strict grade, but still not confident that completely understood the course. But got the basics anyway :o)
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Salam Bsat profile image
Salam Bsat profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
It wasn't the first time that I get introduced into quantum mechanics, but certainly, it is one of the best approaches that I attended in that subject. it is a challenging course and it needs you to dedicate a good bit of your time for it! As an encouragement, I can only say for those who do not know quantum mechanics and Nano Technology.. This IS the Future! :)
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Dhyanendra Tripathi profile image
Dhyanendra Tripathi profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I took this subject as my seminar topic n studied it on my own to deliver a presentation n manipulate teachers. But after taking this now i can say that yes i have knowledge about quantum computer n computing . thanks to edx team n Professor,
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José Benlloch profile image
José Benlloch profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I have study some of the basic notions before taking this course, but I think it is not necessary to have prior knowlegde on quantum mechanics nor quantum computation, the course is a really good introduction and it is easy to understand the lessons. If you are interested on the topic I strongly recommend you taking this course.
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Orome profile image
Orome profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
An excellent introduction, well organized and clearly taught, despite the limitations of the EdX platform.
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Srirangam Ramaraj profile image
Srirangam Ramaraj profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I was new to this area. Quantum mechanics is something I was fascinated about and I went from a chemistry graduate in 1978 to Head - Risk Management in a mutual fund. I took this course with a view to satisfy my curiosity that never left me despite my moving career to finance. Beautiful, awesome, succinct, clarity, intuitive would be few of the adjuncts I would like to use for the course structure, presentation. There is need for more quiz questions within the lectures which would first test the students understanding and with answers add more depth. I was fortunate to have good maths teachers and have not forgotten matrix calculations (last i studied them in 1977 at St.Joseph's college, Trichy.) and complex number calculations. As some fellow students have commented in the discussion forum, refresher lecture are material on matrix , eigen vectors , complex number calculations would be helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and co... I was new to this area. Quantum mechanics is something I was fascinated about and I went from a chemistry graduate in 1978 to Head - Risk Management in a mutual fund. I took this course with a view to satisfy my curiosity that never left me despite my moving career to finance. Beautiful, awesome, succinct, clarity, intuitive would be few of the adjuncts I would like to use for the course structure, presentation. There is need for more quiz questions within the lectures which would first test the students understanding and with answers add more depth. I was fortunate to have good maths teachers and have not forgotten matrix calculations (last i studied them in 1977 at St.Joseph's college, Trichy.) and complex number calculations. As some fellow students have commented in the discussion forum, refresher lecture are material on matrix , eigen vectors , complex number calculations would be helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and compares pretty well with other edX courses i had undertaken. I scored 90% but I know, i had only scratched the surface and would like to be Dr.Vazirani's student again. All the best to him and his teaching assistants
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Anchal Gupta profile image
Anchal Gupta profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
It is one of the best course currently available at edX. The topic is very interesting and fascinating. Further, the way Prof. Umesh Vazirani teaches it will make it your favourite online course! Even though many times I felt it hard to understand the topics, just a few reviews of lectures makes it clear that it was right their in the words of professor! The assignments and exams are very interesting and you never feel the course as a burden on you. Infact, when you solve a tough problem, the word "yeah" will emerge out of your mouth automatically. I would really like to do more courses taught by Prof. Umesh Vazirani.
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Guillermo profile image
Guillermo profile image
10/10 starsDropped
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
To do qm you need to have a good level in lineal algebra. The more tools you have, the easier it will be.
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Greg Coladonato profile image
Greg Coladonato profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I loved this class! I found out about edx.org four weeks after this course started, so I had to work really hard to pass the class (I had missed the first four homework assignments), but was able to pass and more importantly, I learned a ton! I plan to either take it again, just to reinforce and hopefully deepen my understanding. Or if possible, take a follow-on more advanced course if Prof. Vazirani were interested in and able to offer such a course on EdX. Thanks to everyone involved in the course, from the professor to the TAs to the other students, many of whom were extremely helpful to both me and my fellow students.
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dmberndt profile image
dmberndt profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
A wonderful, insightful course with a lot of new concepts to contemplate. While not necessary, a background in Linear Algebra will go a long way to easing into the course. With little exposure in this field myself, the course is progressive and builds on the last weeks content, adding suspense and anticipation for the next allotment. The course is by no means a walk in the park, so be prepared to add a few new neurons and lose a few hairs in the process. All in all, a definite must for anyone wanting to build a career in this area or if you are simply curious about the topic. The presentations and the materials are of an exceptionally high standard; this while it doesn't cost a penny. Good luck and enjoy.
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Rohin Raj profile image
Rohin Raj profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Sir, first of all Thank you very much. This is my first course on Quantum Mechanics so I cannot compare with other courses. But the fact is I have learned many things from this course. I have learned the complexities of the nature in the Language of Mathematics. this course was very good but there needs to be small improvements. At some point the course becomes pure mathematics and less intuitive this needs to be taken care of . But whatever be the short comes of this course I really enjoyed it . I ill participate in the next course if the study span is extended as mentioned in the survey. THANK YOU .
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Lamine Kacimi profile image
Lamine Kacimi profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
An amazing course taught by an outstanding professor in an easy manner. I would suggest it to all gurus out there :)
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Víctor Tamames profile image
Víctor Tamames profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Quantum world is fascinating, and this course is a really great way of getting to know it. It requires a certain background in mathematics and physics, but mine was relatively forgotten and I managed to completed successfully the course anyway. Professor Vazirani explains all lectures with a very comprehensive and intuitive method, so you won't get lost. Last lectures' difficulty is higher, you'll feel the gap (at least I felt it), but they are very interesting anyway. TL;DR I strongly recommend this course.
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Habib Yajam profile image
Habib Yajam profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Quantum World is hard to understand but this course with interesting and fine- tuned lectures will guide you to understand it. I had been trying to understand Quantum Computations using different sources, in english or in my mother-tongue language, but I hadn't be successful, till I found this course.
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Vidur Singh profile image
Vidur Singh profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
the course for beginners is not going to be very easy . overall it was a good experience . i have learned a lot from the course . prof vazirani is a very good teacher . he made things very simple. although i went through the notes very rarely but instead i was able to solve the problems because lectures were good enough . perhaps because of the nature of quantum mechanics it was a little bit confusing too .but instead it was a fun . .
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Mayssam Naji profile image
Mayssam Naji profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
It was an awesome course. it introduced to me many interesting quantum concepts and algorithms. yet it was hard a little bet. it took me almost more than 15 hours per week. but is was worth it ! simply this course is fascinating.
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Imran Aslam profile image
Imran Aslam profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Very effective course. I had no prior knowledge in the field and I must say that the course exceeded all my expectations. I enjoyed taking the course. Lectures and material are well organized. The course introduces variety of topics in very easy fashion. I strongly recommend this course if you are interested in this area.
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Sudipta Biswas profile image
Sudipta Biswas profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Before taking this course quantum computation was just a vague idea to me. I was wondering about how to get the first knowledge...the "a b c" of quantum computing. Then one of my friends suggested me this course and I was amazed to find out that most of the preliminary topics of this field were going to be covered in this course. Then after listening to the lectures of the first week I really fell in love with the world of quantum computation. And it must be said that Prof Vazirani. the instructor of this course is a great mentor. He himself is a living legend of this field and he really structured the course contents in a very effective manner. This course would give you a first sip this emerging new topic and also provide you useful insights of future researches. I f you want to engage yourself in researches which would change the future of human kind altogether, i would suggest you take this course to help you lay the first layer ... Before taking this course quantum computation was just a vague idea to me. I was wondering about how to get the first knowledge...the "a b c" of quantum computing. Then one of my friends suggested me this course and I was amazed to find out that most of the preliminary topics of this field were going to be covered in this course. Then after listening to the lectures of the first week I really fell in love with the world of quantum computation. And it must be said that Prof Vazirani. the instructor of this course is a great mentor. He himself is a living legend of this field and he really structured the course contents in a very effective manner. This course would give you a first sip this emerging new topic and also provide you useful insights of future researches. I f you want to engage yourself in researches which would change the future of human kind altogether, i would suggest you take this course to help you lay the first layer of bricks in building your dreams.
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shinobi profile image
shinobi profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
A truly excellent and enjoyable course with impressive coverage. The lectures and the (sometimes tricky) exercises offer many practical insights, not just into Quantum Computation, but also into the more controversial aspects of Quantum Mechanics in general, such as measurement. For my own experience, this is easily a programmer's best introduction to Quantum Mechanics ever! Way to go!!
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Daniel Pérez profile image
Daniel Pérez profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Before this course I just wanted to learn some "Quantum Mechanics" out of curiosity. My previous exposures to the field were all informal, but very enthusiastic. Specifically, many on-line lectures (that I could hardly understand), many skipping through books, but not actually solving problems, because my mechatronics undergraduate degree just steals much of my time. After the course, even though I found the first talks about computing boring, as soon as I saw the words "quantum gates" I got interested again. I have seen some of those before, and that made it more interesting. Now I want to (be the first physicist to) build a quantum computer. I think this was just the right push I needed. Maybe the only downside, would be that stupid Grover´s Algorithm hahaha I had no previous knowledge of complexity but don´t give up just because it is not easy. Note: I would say I expended 10-15 hours a week but coursetalk, keeps whining and askin... Before this course I just wanted to learn some "Quantum Mechanics" out of curiosity. My previous exposures to the field were all informal, but very enthusiastic. Specifically, many on-line lectures (that I could hardly understand), many skipping through books, but not actually solving problems, because my mechatronics undergraduate degree just steals much of my time. After the course, even though I found the first talks about computing boring, as soon as I saw the words "quantum gates" I got interested again. I have seen some of those before, and that made it more interesting. Now I want to (be the first physicist to) build a quantum computer. I think this was just the right push I needed. Maybe the only downside, would be that stupid Grover´s Algorithm hahaha I had no previous knowledge of complexity but don´t give up just because it is not easy. Note: I would say I expended 10-15 hours a week but coursetalk, keeps whining and asking for a whole number.
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Rajarshi Basak profile image
Rajarshi Basak profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Having had a background in Quantum Mechanics, I took this course to gain an insight into Quantum Information and Computation, something I was eager to do ever since I completed my Master's(in Physics). I felt that the course did what it promised, i.e. provide a simple and concise introduction to Quantum Computation. The lectures were stimulating and were well aided/complimented by the assignments and the examinations. A better background in Computer Science would have complimented my learning, but the flipside is that someone with a computer science background would argue that an idea of quantum mechanics would have helped in the learning process, and that's where I think CS191x does a great job, i.e. to effectively bring to students around the world Quantum mechanics and Computation by seamlessly straddling elements of quantum physics and computer science. Credit should also go to the edX team for organizing this course and bringing... Having had a background in Quantum Mechanics, I took this course to gain an insight into Quantum Information and Computation, something I was eager to do ever since I completed my Master's(in Physics). I felt that the course did what it promised, i.e. provide a simple and concise introduction to Quantum Computation. The lectures were stimulating and were well aided/complimented by the assignments and the examinations. A better background in Computer Science would have complimented my learning, but the flipside is that someone with a computer science background would argue that an idea of quantum mechanics would have helped in the learning process, and that's where I think CS191x does a great job, i.e. to effectively bring to students around the world Quantum mechanics and Computation by seamlessly straddling elements of quantum physics and computer science. Credit should also go to the edX team for organizing this course and bringing it to so many people around the world.
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Simon Johnson profile image
Simon Johnson profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Definitely a 5 star course. In my opinion the most interesting subject that humanity has ever encountered. Clearly presented by the charismatic Professor Vazirani. I have a degree in physics from 35 years ago and have recently been trying to learn about quantum computing by reading about it but this course is a much better way of understanding the subject. The format of lectures, assignments and exams was perfect. The only thing I didn't like about the course is that it came to an end!
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Saurav Agrawal profile image
Saurav Agrawal profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I didn't have any experience in such type of course and I learned a lot from this course.It met my expectations completely and fulfilled my dream of learning quantum mechanics and computation . I liked the way Mr Umesh Vazirani taught the course. But this course didn't have e-book in its forum which was little dis-heartening but course note was provided in spite of that which were very helpful. Over all this course is one of the best courses of life.
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Henni profile image
Henni profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I had no experience in the field of quantum mechanics, but had a lot of experience with matrices. I learned the basics of quantum mechanics and the math behind some of the powerful quantum computing algorithms. The course had high expectations going in and it far exceeded the expectations. I feel as though i honestly learned a lot, and am prepared to start building off this good foundation the course has given me. I have taken numerous MOOCs and this is arguably my favorite.
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Gavriil profile image
Gavriil profile image
7/10 starsDropped
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
It was one of the best classes that I was enter to participate via edx platform, but only for the first week. By this period of time, I was successfully completed the quiz and participate properly to the discussion board. Despite the fact that this period of time is not adequate to apply critic for the class itself, allow me to say that Professor Umesh Vazirani was clear narrative in video lectures with refined scientific simplicity. However, my research topics & needs in particular, deviate me to complete this course class.
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Radovan Horvat profile image
Radovan Horvat profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I enrolled in this course mostly because of curiosity - I had some basic background in quantum mechanics, and two linear algebra courses from my student's days. It turned out to be a great course - mainly for the reason that it demonstrates the "magic" of linear algebra combined with the bizzare quantum mechanical properties of nature - and how these two combine to do great things, such as prime factoring algorithms (Shor's algorithm) and "needle-in-a-haystack" algorithms (Grover's algorithm) which provide a significant speedup over the classical ones. The thing I liked most about the course was the amount of problems provided in the weekly assignments, which prepared one very well for the midterm and final exams. To *do* problems is the best way to learn something new, so this is really the greatest thing about this course. And also, last but not least, the professor was very interesting and has a very nice, clear and elegant style ... I enrolled in this course mostly because of curiosity - I had some basic background in quantum mechanics, and two linear algebra courses from my student's days. It turned out to be a great course - mainly for the reason that it demonstrates the "magic" of linear algebra combined with the bizzare quantum mechanical properties of nature - and how these two combine to do great things, such as prime factoring algorithms (Shor's algorithm) and "needle-in-a-haystack" algorithms (Grover's algorithm) which provide a significant speedup over the classical ones. The thing I liked most about the course was the amount of problems provided in the weekly assignments, which prepared one very well for the midterm and final exams. To *do* problems is the best way to learn something new, so this is really the greatest thing about this course. And also, last but not least, the professor was very interesting and has a very nice, clear and elegant style of presentation. So, this is a 5/5 in my opinion!
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