Microsoft and Brilliant.org Partner to Offer a New Quantum Computing Course

Microsoft has team up with Brilliant.org, an online education company specializing in math and science topics, to create a new interactive course on quantum computing. The 33 chapter course starts with some of the basic concepts of quantum computing and ends discussion a few example problems including the knapsack problem and creating a quantum simulation of a hydrogen molecule. The course uses Microsoft’s Q# quantum language throughout.

Although Brilliant.org is offering the first two chapters for free, there is a fee to access the remaining chapters. Their current rates are $24.99 per month for individual months of access and $119.88 for a year’s worth of access ($9.99 for each month).

There are two interesting points to note with this announcement. First, the course is also receiving support from Alphabet X, an R&D organization within Google that they call their Moonshot Factory. As most people know, Google also has their own quantum computing research group provides their own software framework called Cirq that is different from Q#. As far as we can tell, Cirq is not discussed at all in this course.

The second point is that Microsoft released last year a series of Jupyter notebooks called Microsoft Quantum Katas which are available on GitHub at no charge. Although there are differences in the curriculum, there does appear to be a lot of overlap between the two courses. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft differentiates the two offerings or possibly decides to de-emphasize the Microsoft Quantum Katas course in favor of the Brilliant.org version.

For more details, you can click here to view Microsoft’s blog article announcing the new course and you can click here to go directly to the course on the Brilliant.org site.

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