Term Project

Assignment submission links: proposal due April 2 and final 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
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 perform”). 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.

Possible Projects

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.