Prof. Dr. Tobias Friedrich

Introduction to Quantum Computing

MSc Seminar - Summer 2021

This course will be held fully digital. Therefore, it is important that all participants subscribe to the moodle of the course untill April 11th. There, we will make announcements regarding the course and organizational details. In case of problems with subscribing to our moodle, please get back to the lecture team via e-mail. Please note that you have to additionally register to the Studienreferat as usual. We will make the link for the first lecture available on moodle soon.


"Nature isn’t classical [...] and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you'd better make it quantum mechanical [...]" - Richard Feynman

Classical computers seem to have essential difficulties in simulating quantum mechanical systems. This leads to the question if computers based on the principals of quantum mechanics could be used to overcome this problem. From a computer science perspective, the question immediately extends to: What problems can be solved more efficiently on a quantum computer than on a classical computer? Such a device would not only differ drastically from our classical computers on a technological level, but it also demands for analyzing new formal models of computation. Along this line, a variety of classical computer science domains found their quantum counterpart within recent decades, such as quantum complexity theory, quantum algorithm design, quantum information theory or quantum encoding/encryption.

This course gives an introduction to quantum computation from a computer science perspective, including (but not necessarily limited to) the different domains of quantum computer science mentioned above. We will delve into a model of computation that heavily differs from most other models studied in computer science, but at the same time will become more and more relevant in the upcoming decades. While the results are often counterintuitive, we will see that most aspects of quantum computation actually follow rather simple and elegant mathematical descriptions. By the end of the course, you should have a broad overview on the different domains of quantum computing that enables you to independently deepen you knowledge based on more advanced literature or even recent research work.

Related courses: For a more applied approach to quantum computing, we recomment the course Quantum Programming by the System Analysis and Modeling research group for complementing our theoretical introduction.

Outline of the Course

The main idea of the seminar is to build up an understanding of basic concepts in quantum computing and to get in touch with the respective literature. To this end, after an introduction to the required mathematical background and notation, we will hand out a list of topics. The goal is to give a lecture session on your topic, including some interactive parts, such as exercises and open discussions. We provide you with literature, but also expect you to use additional material. For the preparation of the presentation, we plan to have 2 additional meetings in advance for clarifying open questions and giving feedback.

Requirements and Formalities

There are no formal requirements to participate in this course. However, we expect you to be genuinely interested in theoretical computer science and mathematics in general, as the ability to read mathematical literature and formal proofs will come in handy. Further, some basic knowledge about arithmetic operations on complex numbers (multiplication, addition, ...), linear algebra in complex vector spaces and probability theory is required, some of which will be recapped at the beginning of the course.


The grade will be based to 100% on the presentation.


There will be an introductory meeting via Zoom in the first week of the lecture period (details will be given in the moodle of the course). There, we will discuss the topics, details and all the following dates.

The officially allotted time slot is on Mondays 11:00 am.