18.435: Quantum Computation

Table of contents

  1. Course Info
  2. Realistic Prerequisites
  3. Subject Matter
  4. Course Staff
  5. Lectures
  6. Problem Sets
  7. Exams
  8. Resources
  9. Grading

Course Info

Class Size 92
Hours/Week 10.8 (37 responses)
Instructors Peter Shor
Overall Rating 4.1/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • The content of linear algebra was a necessary prerequisite (18.06, 18.700, or 18.701). Quantum mechanics and information theory were helpful but not necessary prerequisites.

Subject Matter

  • Fun material that is both theoretical and foundational.

Course Staff

  • Responsive. The course staff was very responsive on Piazza, and both the professor and TAs were approachable and willing to put in the time to help students.


  • Lectures were hard to follow.
  • Lecture notes and textbooks helped clarify the material in lectures.

Problem Sets

  • Interesting.
  • Student’s opinions on the problem sets varied quite a bit, though most students agreed that the problems were interesting though occasionally difficult.
  • Pset groups and office hours proved helpful in completing the homework.


  • There was a midterm for this exam.
  • Most found the exams easier than problem sets, though pretty stressful.


  • The class used Nielsen and Chuang’s “Quantum Computation and Quantum Information”, as well as detailed lecture notes provided by Professor Shor.
  • The lecture notes were useful for problem sets, and the textbook to some felt dense.


  • Students felt that grading was fair and transparent.