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Practical Realities of Quantum Computation and Quantum Communication

Course 1 of 2 that comprises the Quantum Computing Realities Professional Certificate Program

Start Date: Jun 17, 2019
Duration: 4 weeks
Price: $1250

Course Description

Understand the possibilities and advantages of Quantum Computing and get hands-on experience on potential applications using the IBM Q Experience. This course explores practical realities of quantum computing including its ability to help accelerate classical computers. Learners will take a deep dive into quantum noise both characterizing and benchmarking using the IBM Q Experience.

This is course 1 of 2 that comprises the Quantum Computing Realities Professional Certificate Program. Learners may enroll in each course independently and receive a certificate of completion and CEUs. However, both courses are required in order to get the Professional Certificate in Quantum Computing Realities.

Get exclusive access to IBM Q

Experience the MIT mens et manus philosophy and turn quantum computing knowledge into action in the program’s Lab Practicum components. The Quantum Computing Realities program is designed to transform learners into quantum practitioners by offering a robust curriculum and experience using the most advanced quantum computing tools available through the cloud today. These courses will utilize the IBM Q Experience, a platform for experimenting with and advancing quantum computing, and QISKit, an open-source quantum software developer kit.

MIT’s quantum computing curriculum is created in collaboration with IBM Q, an industry-first initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computers for business and science, and the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. The MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is focused on fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) research with the goal of propelling scientific breakthroughs that unlock the potential of AI. A key initiative of the lab is the intersection of quantum computing and machine learning. MIT is solely responsible for all course content decisions.

What You'll Learn

  • Familiarize with the practical tradeoffs between trapped ion and superconducting qubit implementations of quantum computers.
  • Gain proficiency with the typical coherence times and quantum gate counts achievable with leading quantum computer implementations
  • Summarize the the physical limits for quantum coherence times and quantum communication limits over optical fibers.
  • Evaluate technology options for realizing quantum computers and quantum communication systems using atoms, photons, and superconductors.


Isaac Chuang

Isaac Chuang Professor of Physics, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Senior Associate Dean of Digital Learning at MIT

William Oliver

William Oliver Professor of the Practice, Physics, Laboratory Fellow, Lincoln Laboratory, Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT

Aram Harrow

Aram Harrow Associate Professor of Physics at MIT

Peter Shor

Peter Shor Morss Professor of Applied Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Committee Chair, Quantum Computation, Quantum Information at MIT


It’s professional development – the MIT way.

MIT xPRO provides professional development opportunities via online and blended learning courses and programs to individuals, teams and companies across the world. Our goal is to help accelerate the pace of innovation by providing a global community with access to the highest quality professional education. Leveraging the latest learning technologies, MIT xPRO courses and programs are available to individuals, teams or as a component of corporate development initiatives.

We empower professionals to maximize their impact by enabling access to our outstanding faculty and industry leaders, skilled at leveraging research-proven learning methodologies. Learners engage in a supportive environment to propel their big ideas forward on their terms. MIT xPRO’s programs are designed to accommodate the busy lives of people who enroll in MIT professional courses enabling continued performance on-the-job.

Our learners are not only scientists, engineers, technicians, managers and consultants – they are change agents. They take the initiative, push boundaries, and define the future, and we’re with them every step of the way.


MIT xPRO Digital Programs are designed to fit the schedules of busy professionals. That’s why each course is self-paced and available online 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Each video module is pre-recorded, enabling you to complete it any time before the assigned due date. While you may complete all the assignments in rapid succession, most participants find it beneficial to adhere to the weekly schedule and participate in online discussion forums along the way. Each course requires a time commitment of between three and five hours a week comprised of videos, assigned reading, projects, and peer-to-peer evaluations.

Please note that the edX platform uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). To convert times to your local time zone, please use the following tool:


Learners in this course who successfully complete all course requirements will be awarded a Certificate of Completion by MIT xPRO after the course has ended.

Letter grades are not awarded for this course.

Participants of this course who successfully complete all course requirements in order to earn a Certificate of Completion receive 2.0 Continuing Education Units (2.0 CEUs).

CEUs are a nationally recognized means of recording non-credit/non-degree study. They are accepted by many employers, licensing agencies, and professional associations as evidence of a participant’s serious commitment to the development of a professional competence.

Acceptance of CEUs depends on the organization to which one is submitting them. If your employer requires any additional information, MIT xPRO can answer questions and provide information, but we cannot guarantee that any particular organization will accept our CEUs.

CEUs are based on hours of instruction. For example: One CEU = 10 hours of instruction.

CEUs may not be applied toward any MIT undergraduate or graduate level course.



What are the browser or other technical requirements?

Access our courses requires an Internet connection, as videos are only available via online streaming, and cannot be downloaded for offline viewing. Please take note of your company's restrictions for viewing content and/or firewall settings.

We are unable to fully support access with mobile devices at this time. While many components of your courses will function on a mobile device, some may not.

Who can register for this course?

US sanctions and export control regulations prevent us from offering this course to learners in or ordinarily residing in the Crimean region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea.

How do I register for the course?

Simply click the "Enroll Now" button above. You may be prompted to first register for a MIT xPRO account if you do not have one already. Complete this process, then continue with enrollment process.

How do I register a group of participants?

For a group of 5 or more individuals, you can pay via invoice. To be invoiced, please email with the number of individuals in your group, and instructions to register will be provided. Please note that our payment terms are net zero, and all invoices must be paid prior to the course start date. Failure to remit payment before the course begins will result in removal from the course. No extensions or exceptions will be granted.

What is the registration deadline?

Individual registrations must be completed by June 24, 2019.

How should I pay?

Individual participants must complete registration and pay online with a valid credit card at the time of registration. MIT xPRO accepts globally recognized major credit or debit cards that have a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Diner’s Club logo. Invoices will not be generated for individuals, or for groups of less than 10 people. However, all participants will receive a payment receipt. Payment must be received in full; payment plans are not available.

When will I get access to the course site?

Instructions for accessing the course site will be sent to all paid registrants via email prior to the program start date. If you have not received these instructions, visit your account dashboard to login and begin the course on the advertised start date.

I need to cancel my registration. Are there any fees?

Cancellation requests must be submitted to The drop deadline for Course Refund: June 24, 2019. Cancellation requests received after drop deadline are not be eligible for a refund. To submit your request, please include your full name and order number in your email request. Refunds will be credited to the credit card used when you registered and may take up to two billing cycles to process.

Can I transfer/defer my registration for another session or course?

Admission and fees paid cannot be deferred to a subsequent session; however, you may cancel your registration and reapply at a later date.

Can someone else attend in my place?

We cannot accommodate any substitution requests at this time. Please review the time commitment section and course schedule.


How do I know if this course is right for me?

Carefully review the program description page, which includes a description of course content, objectives, and target audience, and any required prerequisites.

Are there any prerequisites or advance reading materials?

Linear algebra is at the core of quantum computing algorithms and hence basic knowledge of vector and matrix multiplication are a strongly suggested prerequisite. While we provide brief descriptions of the necessary aspects in the course material, we cannot replace pre-reading or having had a course on the subject.

How long is the course?

The course is held over 4 weeks. Lectures are pre-taped and you can follow along when you find it convenient, as long as you finish all required assignments by July 15, 2019. You may complete all assignments before the due date, however, you may find it more beneficial to adhere to a weekly schedule so you can stay up-to-date with the discussion forums.

How long will the course material be available online?

The materials will be available to registered and paid participants until October 13, 2019. No extensions may be granted.

What reference materials will be available at the end of the course?

Participants will have 90-day access to the archived course (includes videos, discussion boards, content, and resources).

What materials will participants keep at the end of the course?

Participants will take away program materials, and materials presented in the Resources page, including downloadable case study activities for you to work on in your spare time during or after the course.

Will I receive a Certificate of completion?

Participants who successfully complete the course and all assessments will receive a Certificate in from MIT. This course does not carry MIT credits or grades, however, a 60% pass rate is required in order to receive the certificate.

Will I receive MIT credits?

This course does not carry MIT credits. MIT xPRO offers non-credit/non-degree professional programs for a global audience. Participants may not imply or state in any manner, written or oral, that MIT or MIT xPRO is granting academic credit for enrollment in this professional course. Letter grades are not awarded for this course.

Will I earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

Course participants who successfully complete all course requirements are eligible to receive 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from MIT. CEUs may not be applied toward any MIT undergraduate or graduate level course.

After I complete this course, will I be an MIT alum?

Participants who successfully complete this course are considered MIT xPRO Alumni. Only those who complete an undergraduate or graduate degree are considered MIT alumni.

Are video captions available?

Each video for this course has been transcribed and the text can be found on the right side of the video when the captions function is turned on. Synchronized transcripts allow students to follow along with the video and navigate to a specific section of the video by clicking the transcript text. Students can use transcripts of media-based learning materials for study and review. In addition, we include a complete course transcript in a single PDF file that allows for easy reference.

I have never taken a course on the edX platform before. What can I do to prepare?

Prior to the first day of class, participants can take a demonstration course on that was built specifically to help students become more familiar with taking a course on the edX platform.