Microsoft, Brilliant team on quantum coding course

May 27, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Microsoft, Brilliant team on quantum coding course
Microsoft (Redmond, WA), in partnership with Alphabet's X (Mountain View, CA) and online education community Brilliant.org is offering an online curriculum for quantum computing programming.

The interactive Quantum Computing course , says the company, is designed to make getting started with quantum development easy and to teach users about quantum computing in a new way. It focuses on learning quantum computing and programming in Q#, Microsoft's quantum-tuned programming language, and features Q# programming exercises with Python as the host language.

"Because quantum computing bridges the fields of information theory, physics, mathematics, and computer science, it can be difficult to know where to begin," says the company's Quantum Development Team in a blog post announcing the curriculum. "Brilliant's course, integrated with some of Microsoft's leading quantum development tools, provides self-learners with the tools they need to master quantum computing."

The new quantum computing course starts from scratch and brings users along in a way that suits their schedule and skills. Users can build and simulate simple quantum algorithms on the go or implement advanced quantum algorithms in Q# on the web, without ever downloading a development environment.

The course is designed to cover quantum information, quantum operations, and introductory algorithm design in an intuitive way. It builds up the fundamental concepts of quantum information from first principles, and finds and addresses the points where classical intuition falls apart.

The course, says the company, aims to present the deep mysteries of quantum phenomena in an approachable way. For example, the course begins with a ball bouncing down The Price is Right's Plinko board and then - with a few added lasers - reveals an example of boson sampling, a simple problem that is likely to be impossible to solve efficiently with a classical computer.

To teach basic quantum operations, the course features a drag-and-drop simulator that follows the user throughout the course and off-loads mathematical heavy lifting so it's easier to focus on the quantum learnings. Brilliant's circuit simulator allows self-learners to solve quantum circuit puzzles, peek inside the quantum state at any point along the simulation,


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