Well class begins for me this afternoon. As I’ve mentioned before I’m teaching a graduate course in quantum computing. Here are the first set of lecture notes for the class: Introduction and Basics of Quantum Theory. As part of these notes, I’ve put a little section with some of the less often expressed reasons I think doing research in quantum computing is important. Here is one excerpt which I’m sure many of you will enjoy:

If today someone was to prove that P does not equal NP for a classical computer, would we be satisfied? Well certainly we would be very excited and this would be the breakthrough of the century in computation, but because the universe is fundamentally quantum mechanical, would we really be satisfied that the intractability of NP-complete problems had been shown? Quantum computers open up an entire bag of worrying about the foundations of computational complexity. It is dangerous to say this, of course: if this view is correct, then the hard work of classical computational theory might have been in vain. But if this is the correct view, then we need to begin weaning ourselves off of the classical model of computation.

Nice notes. I am looking forward to the rest, and hoping to learn something as well (can you make a special category in your blog that i can subscribe to directly, or should I use the ‘teaching’ category ? )

The intro was very eloquent: I especially like the abstract you excerpted above, because it echoes many of my “worries” about the classical method.

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Hey Suresh, I’ve added a category Winter 06 where I’ll post these notes (the link to the rss is on the sidebar.)

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Thanks for putting up your lecture notes. Can’t wait for the homework.

So how many virtual students do you have, Dave?

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I don’t know how many virtual students I have, but I do know that I have one imaginary friend and his name is Harvey and he is gigantic rabbit So far I haven’t convinced Harvey to learn quantum computing!

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You could have the first quantum computing class podcast! You know you want to! Just bring a portable recording thingie to your next class and leave it on the desk…

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hey Dave,

do you have a class syllabus online somewhere so I can check out the prereqs for this class? It’s possible I may become another virtual student…

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um, never mind, I found the link off of “teaching.” (Reading carefully is one of the pre-reqs for any classs.) Thanks so much for putting lecture notes online.

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