Assignment submission links:
due April 2 and
paper due May 17.
Final presentations May 7, 9, 14, 16. Sign up here for a
slot. That link requires MIT certificates for an MIT ID that is on the class registration list.
One of the goals of this class is to make it possible for you to
follow and contribute to work at the current research frontier. Since
the lectures cannot go into depth on any one topic, the final project is
an opportunity to explore some topic more thoroughly. Projects can be
done either individually or in teams of two.
In each case, the page guidelines are approximate. The recommended
format is PRA 2-column 11pt format, which you can achieve with line
Individual projects should be 10 or so pages long and may
or may not contain original research. If you do not do
any original research, then try to write a paper that prepares you for
doing research. For example, if you do a survey, then identify important
open questions and describe plausible approaches for tackling them.
- Team projects should be 15 or so pages long and must
contain original research, although it is ok to have most of the paper
reviewing existing knowledge. You may divide up some writing or research
tasks but each partner should put in roughly similar effort and should
be able to explain every piece of the work.
If you prefer, then you can also do:
What is more important than
the specific length is that they contain both good
background/discussion/context and some calculations or other technical
work. Your presentation should be at a level where your fellow 8.371
students can follow it.
For advice (both online and in-person) on writing and presenting, you
may find the MIT
Writing and Communication Center to be helpful.
The project has three components.
Proposal. The proposal is due on Monday, April 2. It should
consist of a title, a paragraph or two on what you plan to write
about, an outline of the proposed paper, and a preliminary list of
references. Also mention any points where you have questions and need
to learn or find out more, especially if you are doing original
research. These could be gaps in your knowledge (i.e. “I need to
read more about X”) or issues where no one knows the answer
(i.e. “we will test these codes and we don't know how well they will
Your proposal does not have to be very detailed but you should think of it as an opportunity to get feedback, and the more you put in it, the more we can help you get your project off to a good start.
Finally please also include your email address so that we
can contact you about scheduling a meeting to discuss your proposal.
Paper. The paper is due on the last day of class:
Thursday, May 17 and is worth 35% of your grade.
Presentation. The last few classes will be devoted to
project presentations, worth 10% of your grade. The presentation
should explain your results at a level where your classmates can
understand it. Presentations will be 15-25 minutes long, with the
exact length determined in April by how many students are doing projects.
The proposal and paper should be turned in online via the
learning-modules website using the links at the top of this document.
You can choose any topic on quantum computing or quantum information.
If it is not on this list, and especially if it doesn't resemble
anything on this list, you may want to check with us before writing
your project proposal. In some cases we have listed a few possible
papers to look at, but these lists are not exhaustive and you do not
need to use these as starting points.
Beside the topics below, you should look at the talks in the last few
QIP conferences, or even some of the top rated papers at scirate.com.
- Coding theory
- Quantum polar codes
- Quantum LDPC codes
- Color codes
- Codeword-stabilized codes
- Self-correcting quantum memories
- Decoding algorithms for surface or other codes
- Approximate quantum error correction
- Quantum Locally Testable Codes
- Homological Product Cdoes
- Experimental quantum error correction
- Codes adapted to specific architectures, such as superconducting
cavities (e.g. 1602.04768)
- Fault tolerance
- Knill FT scheme
- Comparison of thresholds from different codes
- Upper bounds on the threshold
- Magic state distillation protocols
- Variations on the threshold theorem (e.g., different assumptions)
- Fault tolerance with LDPC codes
- Alternatives to magic states
- Thresholds with no classical controller. How much worse is it?
- Adiabatic algorithm (many possible subtopics)
- Quantum walks and their applications
- Span programs
- Learning graphs
- Triangle finding
- Non-abelian hidden subgroup problem (including connections to
lattices, pattern matching and graph isomorphism)
- Algebraic problems (0812.0380 is a review but there has been a
lot of more recent work).
- Linear systems (0811.3171)
- Semidefinite programming (1609.05537)
- Variational algorithms
- Machine learning (see 1611.09347 for a recent survey)
- Information Theory
- Recovery maps (1410.0664 and papers citing this, e.g. 1410.4184,
1509.07127, 1608.07325, 1609.06636)
- Entropy accumulation (1607.01796)
- Channel capacities and additivity
- Random quantum states and channels.
- Expanders, designs, scrambling and other aspects of
- Monogamy of entanglement and de Finetti theorems
- Hypothesis testing
- Single-shot information theory
- Post-selection theorem / de Finetti reductions (0809.3019,
- Zero-error communication capacities
- Complexity Theory
- Interactive verification of quantum computers (see 1206.3686 or
section 3 of 0809.0847).
- The quantum PCP/NLTS/LTC conjectures.
- Quantum communication complexity
- Quantum streaming complexity (quant-ph/0606066)
- Quantum interactive proofs (e.g. with 2 rounds)
- Entangled quantum provers and nonlocal games
- Quantum money
- Connections to Physics
- The Margolus-Levitin theorem (quant-ph/9710043, 1610.09619,
- The black-hole information problem
- Thermalization (1409.3435, 1609.07877)
- Kitaev's anyon paper: cond-mat/0506438
- The area law conjecture
- Matrix product states, PEPS, MERA, etc. (see 1603.03039 for a review)