Investigating students' strengths and difficulties in quantum computing



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Quantum Information Science and Quantum Computing are exciting fields that draw from information theory, computer science, mathematics, and quantum physics to process information in fundamentally new ways. Quantum mechanics being a more general model of physics than classical mechanics gives rise to a more general model of computing. Although the field of quantum computing is not entirely new, it recently gained tremendous attention by several governments, researchers, engineers, educators, firms, including investors. There is an ongoing push for the development of quantum computers and advancement in information technology, but there has not been a similar push for the development and adoption of research-based materials and pedagogies to support the education of the next generation of quantum information scientists. This thesis is a case study of students’ strengths and difficulties learning Quantum Computing. We conducted semi-structured interview sessions to investigate these strengths and difficulties in the students. We interviewed five undergraduate students and one graduate student for this study. This research aims to inform the design and modification of instructional and pedagogical materials needed to teach an introductory course in quantum computing. This investigation is essential to help train the next generation of quantum scientists and researchers because it gives information and direction to quantum computing education and helps us to develop research-based teaching and learning materials.



Quantum Computing Education