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Quantum Undergraduate Education & Scientific Training

Quantum Undergraduate Education & Scientific Training

Quantum Undergraduate Education & Scientific Training

Education and workforce training in quantum information science and technology (QIST) exists primarily at the graduate and postdoctoral positions, with few undergraduate efforts now growing out of these. This workshop aims to maximize the impact of these efforts in undergraduate QIST education by bringing together faculty from the CSU and other Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) to learn the state of undergraduate QIST education, identify challenges associated with implementing QIST curriculum at PUIs and to develop strategies and solutions to deal with these challenges. The workshop will be held virtually June 3rd and 4th,  2021.

For more information please reach out to Justin Perron or Shahed Sharif.

We want to thank the American Physical Society’s Innovation Fund for supporting this workshop.

APS Physics Innovation Fund - logo with a lightbulb
  • Day 1 Agenda
    • 8:00 am - 8:15 am, Welcome and Introduction
      • Justin Perron, Department of Physics, California State University San Marcos
      • Corey Stambaugh,  National Quantum Coordination Office, Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • 8:15 am - 9:30 am, Panel 1: Establishing Industry's Anticipated needs
      • Heather J. Lewandowski, University of Colorado - Boulder, JILA


        Preparing for the quantum revolution: What is the role of higher education?
        Quantum sensing, quantum networking and communication, and quantum computing have attracted significant attention recently, as these quantum technologies could offer significant advantages over existing technologies. In order to accelerate the commercialization of these quantum technologies, the workforce must be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills. Through a study of the quantum industry, in a series of interviews with 21 U.S. companies carried out in Fall 2019 and from a survey administered to 57 companies through the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) in Fall 2020, we describe the types of activities being carried out in the quantum industry, profile the types of jobs that exist, and describe the skills valued across the quantum industry, as well as in each type of job. The current routes into the quantum industry are detailed, providing a picture of the current role of higher education in training the quantum workforce. Finally, we present the training and hiring challenges the quantum industry is facing and how higher education may optimize the important role it is currently playing.
      • Daniel Sank, Staff Research Scientist, Google
      • Ms. Isabella Bello Martinez, Lead Quantum Technologist, Booz Allen Hamilton
        Ms. Martinez will provide a brief overview of the quantum team at Booz Allen, our quantum services, and discuss the diverse range of both technical and soft skills that are particularly beneficial for our quantum business model.

    • 9:30 am - 10:00 am, Coffee break and informal chats

       Informal chats with other participants

    • 10:00 am - 11:30 am, Panel 2: Learning from existing programs
      • Lincoln D. Carr, Quantum Engineering Program and Department of Physics, Colorado School of Mines


        Building an undergraduate quantum engineering program

        In this talk I provide a brief overview of the results of the 2021 NSF Quantum Engineering (QE) Education Workshop.  I will discuss components of a first QE course, building a QE minor and/or track within existing engineering departments, and bridging to thesis and non-thesis based QE Master's programs, hardware and software tracks.  I will also touch on industry needs in QE, STEM diversity issues in QE, and making the discipline accessible from community and four-year undergraduate-focused colleges and universities to R1 and R2 research-focused doctoral institutions.

      • Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, Department of Physics, The Ohio State University
         QuSTEAM: A Template for Undergraduate Education in QISE
      • Brian R. La Cour, Research Scientist, The University of Texas at Austin


        Bringing Quantum Education to High Schools and Universities
        I will briefly describe the quantum computing courses and learning resources we have developed for high school seniors and university freshmen.
      • Emily Edwards, Managing Director IQUIST, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
        Introducing Quantum Concepts to Early Learners and non-Expert Audiences
        The QIS education community is developing and expanding programs for learners outside of advanced undergraduate and graduate programs. In the long-term, such initiatives have the potential to help learners develop an appreciation for QIS, and even inspire students to pursue a career in this critical area. In addition, introducing QIS concepts in K-12 schools will enable students to build intuition around this topic, and better prepare them for future QIS coursework at the undergraduate level. Extending QIS learning opportunities to younger age groups is also critical towards growing a more inclusive, diverse quantum workforce. I will give an overview of the activities and goals of the National Q-12 Education Partnership and the NSF-funded Q2Work program as they relate to introducing QISE to early learners.

    • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm, Lunch and informal chats


      lunch break and informal discussions among attendees

    • 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm, Panel 3: Fostering thriving and inclusive programs


      • Jorge A. Lopez, Dept. of Physics, University of Texas at El Paso
         QUEST at UTEP
        The Physics Department of the University of Texas at El Paso has adopted an apprentice method to train undergraduate students in quantum science.  With a strong base in quantum magnetism and development and application of quantum methods for understanding next generation computing devices, undergraduate scientists are included in experimental, computational and theoretical aspects of quantum science. In this talk, I will present examples of undergraduate students participating in projects such as the computational design of a magnetic qubit, or the development of data set of transition-metal based single-ion qubits, or on the design of accurate integration methods needed for the next-generation qubits, etc
      • Robert Hilborn, Associate Executive Officer, American Association of Physics Teachers
        Building a Thriving and Inclusive Undergraduate STEM Program: Lessons from SPIN-UP, Phys21, and EP3 for Quantum Information Science and Technology Education
        I will give a brief summary of the general principles articulated in the SPIN-UP, Phys21, and EP3 reports and discuss how they provide guidance for building thriving and inclusive undergraduate QIS Programs.
      • Arlene Modeste Knowles, TEAM-UP Diversity Project Manager, American Institute of Physics


        Leveraging the AIP TEAM-UP Report Recommendations for Inclusive Quantum Education
        The AIP TEAM-UP Report, The Time is Now: Systemic Changes to Increase African Americans with Bachelor’s Degrees in Physics & Astronomy, is the culmination of a two-year study by a national task force to understand the reasons for the persistent underrepresentation of African American bachelor’s degree earners in physics and astronomy. This groundbreaking report includes a number of recommendations for creating inclusive environments that allow African American students to thrive in physics and astronomy. In this talk, Arlene Modeste Knowles, will give an overview of some of the findings and recommendations in the report and how specific actions might contribute to a more inclusive Quantum education.
      • Chris Rasmussen, San Diego State University

        Successful Department Change Efforts to Transform Precalculus and Calculus

        In this talk I provide an overview of the Student Engagement in Mathematics through an Institutional Network for Active Learning (SEMINAL) project. SEMINAL is a five-year NSF-funded project whose broad goal is to better understand the conditions, strategies, interventions and actions at the departmental and classroom levels that contribute to the initiation, implementation, and sustainability of equitable and inclusive active learning in the undergraduate precalculus and calculus sequence. Through longitudinal case studies, we have identified multiple levers for change, including approaches to departmental leadership, course coordination, active learning resources, professional development, and a focus on equity and department culture.

    • 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm, Issue and challenge identifying session


      A discussion among attendees reflecting on what has been learned through the days panels and focusing on identifying challenges and issues associated with implementing these ideas at their home institutions.  The issues and challenges identified will be the topics of the breakout discussions during the second day of the workshop.

  • Day 2 Agenda

    Note: the times for day two's agenda are estimates. Since we do not want to stop productive conversations in breakout rooms to meet specific times we are allowing for modifications to these estimates as needed.

  • Code of Conduct

    All participants will conduct themselves in a professional manner that is welcoming to all participants and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Participants will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment. Creating a supportive environment to enable scientific discourse is the responsibility of all participants.

    Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

    Violations of this code of conduct policy should be reported to meeting organizers Justin Perron (, Charles De Leone (, Shahed Sharif ( Sanctions may range from verbal warning, to ejection from the meeting, to notifying appropriate authorities. Retaliation for complaints of inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated. If a participant observes inappropriate comments or actions and personal intervention seems appropriate and safe, they should be considerate of all parties before intervening.

  • Organizing committee
    Photo of Justin Perron Justin Perron, CSU San Marcos
    Justin is an Associate Professor at CSU San Marcos in the Physics Department. He currently teaches the undergraduate quantum mechanics sequence and his research focuses on silicon-based spin qubits.
    silhouette of male head Shahed Sharif, CSU San Marcos
    Shahed is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics. His research focuses on post-quantum cryptography, especially cryptography based on arithmetic geometry.
    Silhouette of male head Charles De Leone, CSU San Marcos
    Chuck is a Professor in the Department of Physics at CSU San Marcos. He is currently serving as dean of the office of graduate studies and research. He is a physics education researcher and is one of the pioneers in using and researching the "spins-first" approach to quantum mechanics.
    Silhouette of unknown male Thomas Carter, CSU Stanislaus
    Dr. Carter is a Professor at CSU Stanislaus in the Computer Science Department, which he helped found. 
    Headshot of Levent Ertaul Levent Ertaul, CSU East Bay
    Dr. Ertaul is a Professor at CSU East Bay in the Department of Computer Science. He recieved his Ph.D. from Sussex University in 1994. He specializes in Network Security and Cyber Security, and post-quantum cryptography.
    Headshot photo of Josh Grossman Josh Grossman, St. Mary's College of Maryland
    Dr. Grossman is a Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, a public liberal-arts college, where he has chaired the physics department and taught a course on quantum information.  His research interests include cold-atom applications, quantum measurement, and physics education.
    Headshot of Gina Passante

    Gina Passante, CSU Fullerton
    Dr. Passante is an Associate Professor at CSU Fullerton in the Department of Physics. Her research focuses on teaching and learning of quantum mechanics. She previously studied non-classical correlations in NMR quantum computing architectures.

    Headshot photo of Joshua Sac

    Joshua Sack, CSU Long Beach
    Joshua Sack is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in CSU Long Beach. He studies relationships among quantum structures and logics for quantum interaction, information, and computation.

  • Faculty Online Learning Communities

    A faculty online learning community (FOLC) is a group of 8-12 faculty who meet regularly to learn from each other, troubleshoot, and gain motivation and encouragement. The QUEST FOLCs will focus on supporting faculty in integrating quantum information science and technology into their undergraduate teaching. Each participant will be asked to develop new instructional materials, which could range from a single module to a single assignment to a full revamp of a course or curriculum. Participants will also be encouraged to share the results of their implementation with their cohort. Sessions may include external presenters on various approaches and discussion of each other's QIST teaching efforts. The FOLC will provide an additional avenue of engaging the participants in the growing undergraduate QIST education community, providing examples of the community's resources and support.

    • Participants

      Participants will meet virtually every two weeks with their learning community during the 2021/2022 academic year. The learning communities will also communicate asynchronously through an online discussion forum. The meetings and asynchronous discussions will support participants in their efforts to implement QIST into their curriculum. At the end of the year participants will document and share a curricular item they developed during the project.

      Each participant will receive a $1000 stipend for their participation. These stipends will be tied to the completion of the project, specifically sharing of their curricular item and completion of a follow-up survey for the purposes of project assessment.

       Review of applications will begin on July 2nd and continue until all spots are filled. To apply fill out the following survey

      FOLC Participant survey

    • Facilitators

      FOLCs will meet every two weeks during the 2021/2022 academic year, as well as participate in asynchronous discussions through an online forum. Each FOLC will consist of approximately 8 participating faculty and 1-2 facilitators. The facilitators will be responsible for

      • Participate in preparation sessions with organizers (approximately 1hr/month)
      • Facilitate/guide synchronous discussions (every two weeks during the academic year, approximately 15 total)
      • Engage in planning for synchronous meetings and provide updates/debriefings to organizers
      • Manage logistics of synchronous meetings, including scheduling a common meeting time and sharing zoom links
      • Encouraging and promoting asynchronous discussions via Slack
      • Manage the collection of curricular items at the end of the academic year

      Facilitators will receive stipends of $4000 as compensation.

       Review of applications will begin on July 2nd and continue until all spots are filled. To apply fill out the following survey

      FOLC Facilitator survey