Getting started with Quantum Computing

If you are looking to get started on Quantum Computing but are overwhelmed by the information on the Internet, you may have landed in the right place.

I am a twenty-year veteran of Information Technology. After a master’s degree in computer science, I spent twenty plus years building and managing business critical application for various industries. While the digital revolution transformed every single aspect of our lives, new technology frontiers are pushing the limits of classical computing.

Quantum Computing is Computing 2.0.

My journey with quantum computing started with this YouTube video — Quantum Computing 2019: A Machine of a Different Kind. In this video, Dr. Denny Dahl from D-Wave gave the best summary of the history and the current development of quantum computing.

From YouTube, I moved to Coursera. There are two classes on Coursera. Both are delivered by Dr. Sergey Sysoev from Saint Petersburg State University. Both are very important. I suggest that you start with this one: Quantum Computing. Less Formulas — More Understanding. It is well structured and well delivered. It took me two days to complete.

My next adventure is a fascinating book — QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, by a fascinating scientist, educator, and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. Published in 1985, this book is a collection of four lectures Dr Feynman delivered in UCLA. The lectures aimed to explain the quantum theory of light to the general public, with or without science background.

Richard Feynman and his work marked the beginning of the age of Quantum Computing.

It is important to mention that, in parallel to my Coursera classes and my reading, I continue to follow two YouTube channels: D-Wave Systems and Qiskit. My very first quantum computer program was written and successfully run on the D-Wave Leap platform. My first graphical quantum circuit was built on the IBM Quantum Composer. Qiskit is an open source frame work developed by IBM. D-Wave and IBM took two different paths to the implementation to quantum computing. It is essential to follow both.

Now it is time to go back to Coursera and finish the second class: The Introduction to Quantum Computing. In this class, Dr Sergey Sysoev walked through five mathematical algorithms that laid the foundation for quantum computing: the Deutsch’s problem, the Deutsch–Jozsa algorithm, Simon’s problem, Shor’s algorithm, and the latest Grover’s algorithm. This class can be difficult to follow for non-math majors. However, don’t be discouraged. People around the world have produced many excellent videos on all these algorithms. Use these as your learning aid. (Here is an example by Dr Abraham Asfaw from IBM). Remember, your fellow developers are behind you!

There are many quantum players. So far, I only mentioned D-Wave and IBM. This is because they offer the best free online resources, including access to running programs on quantum computers. The breadth and depth of their content, and the delivery of their tutorials, far exceed the rest (as of May 2021).

Quick recap: YouTube, Coursera, Richard Feynman and QED, and finally, D-Wave Leap and IBM Quantum Experience. There you have it, Getting started with Quantum Computing.

Enjoy the journey!

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