CMSC/PHYS 457 Introduction to Quantum Computing, Spring 2021 : Projects


Each group is required to accomplish a course project, which could be a survey of a specific topic in quantum information and computation, or some original research/implementation. The end product will be a talk and a written report (about 10 pages).

  • For survey projects, one should identify the motivation and the background of a specific topic, and then summarize the development in literature. One is also expected to identify the important open problems and future directions on that topic.

  • For original theory-research or implementation projects, one should again first identify a specific problem, its motivation and the existing literature. Then propose your methodology/techniques/implementation. You are not required to completely solve the problem. However, you should present your findings following your methodology and make a future attack plan.

Each group is expected to submit a proposal on the topic (either from a list of candidate project topics or something you find by yourselves) and to discuss this proposal with the instructor to finalize the project. Each group is also expected to submit the mid-term report, slides for the representation, and the final report following the time-line below.


  • Groups formed (Assignment 0) by 02/05/21.

  • Course project proposals due by 02/12/21.

  • Course project finalized by 02/19/21.

  • Course project mid-term report due by 04/02/21.

  • Course project slides due by 04/23/21.

  • Course project presentation: online in the week of 05/03/21.

  • Course project final report due by 05/17/21.

Specific requirement on each submitted documents

  • Proposal: 1-2 pages in length. Should include the topic and its motivation. An appropriate goal of this project. A brief summary of the relevant literature, including the relationship among the literature and/or why you find them relevant. For research projects, explain the high-level idea of your methodology/techniques. IMPORTANTLY, a time plan for the project: including what to finish by the mid-term report, what to finish by the final presentation. If the topic is too broad for you to explore in the semester, it is totally fine to focus on some part of the topic and leave other parts for the future.

  • Mid-term Report: 4-5 pages in length. Consider mid-term reports that have two parts. The first part is a polished version of your proposal (excluding the time plan part) since you should have a better understanding of the topic after reading some references. The second part contains the knowledge you get from the literature reading, e.g., the development of a topic, the state of the art, and important open problems in your own words.

  • Slides and Presentation: Should be an oral presentation to the audience with a basic understanding of quantum information (e.g., after taking this course). Should be self-contained and explain clearly about the main points from the project (e.g., topic, motivation, development, the state of the art, your methodology/findings, open questions, etc). It should be 15-20 mins in length. The grade will consist of two parts: (1) one on the quality of the slides; (2) one on the quality of the presentation. Details to be announced in ELMS.

  • Final Report: 10- pages. Consider this as a written document supplementing the presentation (but with more details), also as a polished and complete version of the Mid-term Report. Should be self-contained and include all the major points of the project. It is encouraged that all final reports will be posted online on the course website after the course finishes. Of course, any group can opt-out of the online posting.

Grading of Projects (20%)

  • Proposal (5%), Mid-term Report (5%), Slides and the presentation (5%), Final Report (5%)

  • Grading for each item is based on the quality of the document and the progress made.