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Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers?
written by Josephine C. Meyer, Gina Passante, Steven J. Pollock, and Bethany R. Wilcox
Significant attention in the PER community has been paid to student cognition and reasoning processes in undergraduate quantum mechanics. Until recently, however, these same topics have remained largely unexplored in the context of emerging interdisciplinary quantum information science (QIS) courses. We conducted exploratory interviews with 22 students in an upper-division quantum computing course at a large R1 university crosslisted in physics and computer science, as well as 6 graduate students in a similar graduate-level QIS course offered in physics. We classify and analyze students' responses to a pair of questions regarding the fundamental differences between classical and quantum computers. We specifically note two key themes of importance to educators: (1) when reasoning about computational power, students often struggled to distinguish between the relative effects of exponential and linear scaling, resulting in students frequently focusing on distinctions that are arguably better understood as analog-digital than classical-quantum, and (2) introducing the thought experiment of analog classical computers was a powerful tool for helping students develop a more expertlike perspective on the differences between classical and quantum computers.
Physics Education Research Conference 2022
Part of the PER Conference series
Grand Rapids, MI: July 13-14, 2022
Pages 317-322
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Pedagogy
= Multidisciplinary
- Technology
= Computers
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
- Student Characteristics
Other Sciences
- Computer Science
Quantum Physics
- Entanglement and Quantum Information
- Upper Undergraduate
- Graduate/Professional
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2022…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2022.pr.Meyer
NSF Numbers:
2012147
2011958
Keyword:
PERC 2022
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 7, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 15, 2022 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 15, 2022
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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Meyer, G. Passante, S. Pollock, and B. Wilcox, , presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2022, Grand Rapids, MI, 2022, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Meyer, G. Passante, S. Pollock, and B. Wilcox, Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers?, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2022, Grand Rapids, MI, 2022, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622>.
APA Format
Meyer, J., Passante, G., Pollock, S., & Wilcox, B. (2022, July 13-14). Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers?. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2022, Grand Rapids, MI. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622
Chicago Format
Meyer, J, G. Passante, S. Pollock, and B. Wilcox. "Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers?." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2022, Grand Rapids, MI, July 13-14, 2022. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622 (accessed 15 June 2024).
MLA Format
Meyer, Josephine, Gina Passante, Steven Pollock, and Bethany Wilcox. "Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers?." Physics Education Research Conference 2022. Grand Rapids, MI: 2022. 317-322 of PER Conference. 15 June 2024 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Josephine Meyer and Gina Passante and Steven Pollock and Bethany Wilcox", Title = {Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers?}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2022}, Pages = {317-322}, Address = {Grand Rapids, MI}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 13-14}, Year = {2022} }
Refer Export Format

%A Josephine Meyer %A Gina Passante %A Steven Pollock %A Bethany Wilcox %T Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers? %S PER Conference %D July 13-14 2022 %P 317-322 %C Grand Rapids, MI %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622 %O Physics Education Research Conference 2022 %O July 13-14 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings %A Meyer, Josephine %A Passante, Gina %A Pollock, Steven %A Wilcox, Bethany %D July 13-14 2022 %T Investigating student interpretations of the differences between classical and quantum computers: Are quantum computers just analog classical computers? %B Physics Education Research Conference 2022 %C Grand Rapids, MI %P 317-322 %S PER Conference %8 July 13-14 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=16253&DocID=5622


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