Desiree Vogt-Lee maintains a list of quantum computing resources called Awesome Quantum Computing. It is indeed awesome and comprehensive. Here I am looking to answer the question where do I start with quantum computing? with a more concise list of my current favourite entry points.
But, before we get started, a general piece of advice if you want to study quantum computing (or anything else for that matter): learn more maths. More? Yes. More. It doesn’t matter how much you already know. In fact, I’m going to go learn some more maths after writing out this list. (I’m not joking — the next tab in my browser is Agent-based model – Wikipedia.)
Now — in order of some sense of difficulty — here are my favourite recommendations for starting points on learning quantum computing.
The academically minded might be looking for a more traditional approach. Don’t worry. Got that covered by Quantum Computer Programming, a course lectured at Stanford University. Other standard lecture notes include those by David Mermin and John Preskill. The former is more computer-sciencey while the latter is more physicsy.
If you want to do some real quantum programming, The Quantum Katas by Microsoft Quantum is a set of tutorials on quantum programming using the Q# programming language. While it does start with the basics, there is a steep learning curve for those without a background in programming.
Quantum computing for the very curious by Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen is like an electronic textbook with exercises that use spaced repetition to assist in remembering key facts. This is an experimental learning tool, which at the time of writing, is still under construction.
“Thinking Quantum”: Lectures on Quantum Theory by Barak Shoshany is a set of about 16 hours worth of lecture notes which was delivered to highschool students at an international summer school. Though it is more focused on quantum physics, the first half will give you all the basic tools needed to start analysing quantum algorithms. It is quite mathematical so the reader would have to be comfortable with some mathematical abstraction. However, much of the field of quantum computing comes from a physics background and the ideas and language of quantum physics are pervasive.
The Quantum Quest by members of the QuSoft team is a web class which contains videos, lecture notes, and a pared down version of Quirk. It starts with the basics of probability and linear algebra and quickly gets you up and running with quantum circuits and algorithms.
Quirk by Craig Gidney is a quantum circuit simulator. It is incredible expressive and provides many useful visualisations. This tools is simple enough for anyone to start creating quantum circuits. However, interpreting the output does require some guidance and knowledge of probability.
If you prefer the video playlist approach, Quantum computing for the determined by Michael Nielsen is a series of short YouTube videos going over the basics of quantum information. However, if you are not putting pen to paper yourself, you are not likely to absorb the necessary mathematics to understand quantum computing.
Primary / C-Suites
Quantum Computing for Babies by me and whurley.