Los Alamos National LaboratoryInformation Science and Technology Institute (ISTI)
Implementing and fostering collaborative research, workforce and program development, and technical exchange

Quantum Computing Summer School Fellowship

Developing new leaders in the theory, application, and programming of quantum computers


  • Program Co-Lead
  • Patrick Coles
  • Email
  • Administrative Support
  • Brandi Brown
  • (505) 665-0932
  • Email

Summary of Program

The Quantum Computing Summer School is an immersive 10-week curriculum that includes tutorials from world-leading experts in quantum computation as well as one-on-one mentoring from LANL staff scientists who are conducting cutting-edge quantum computing research. Summer school fellowship recipients will be exposed to the theoretical foundations of quantum computation and will become skilled at programming commercial quantum computers, such as those developed by D-Wave Systems, Rigetti, and IBM. Between Ten and Fifteen students (with the precise number determined based on the applicant pool) will be awarded a fellowship from LANL that covers travel, living expenses in Los Alamos, and salary. The fellowship value ranges from $7,500 to $13,000, based on academic rank (junior, senior, 1st year graduate student, etc.).

Applications for 2020 are open until January 17th, 2020. 

Highlights from 2019 School

Invited speakers: Scott Aaronson (UT Austin), Fernando Brandao (CalTech), Elizabeth Crosson (U New Mexico), Christopher Granade(Microsoft Research), Travis Humble (ORNL), John Martinis (Google), Margaret Martonosi (Princeton U), Jarrod McClean (Google), Seth Merkel (IBM), Chris Monroe (U Maryland), Alejandro Perdomo-Ortiz (Zapata Computing), Mauricio Reis (D-Wave), Will Zeng (Stanford U)

Finished Projects: 

Highlights from 2018 school

Invited speakers: Sergio Boixo (Google), Alex Condello (D-Wave), Susan Coppersmith (Wisconsin), Ivan Deutsch (UNM), Jungsang Kim (IonQ / Duke), Daniel Lidar (USC), Doug McClure (IBM), Peter Shor (MIT), Matthias Troyer (Microsoft), Eleanor Rieffel (NASA), Will Zeng (Rigetti)

Finished projects:


In the first 2 weeks, students will attend lectures given by world-leading experts – from both academia and industry – in quantum computing research. The lectures will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to quantum-mechanical formalism and quantum information theory
  • Gate-based quantum computing
    • Universal sets of gates
    • Shor’s, Grover’s, and other algorithms
    • Quantum error correction and fault tolerance
    • Hands-on programming of Rigetti's and IBM’s quantum computers
  • Adiabatic quantum computing
    • Introduction to adiabatic algorithms, adiabatic theorem
    • Encoding problems in Ising-model Hamiltonians
    • Hands-on programming of D-Wave’s quantum computer
  • Applications
    • Data science / machine learning
    • Quantum chemistry
    • Simulating many-body systems
    • Solving optimization problems

Following the 2-week lecture period, each student will work on a research project in quantum computing for the remaining 8 weeks. For this research project, each student will be paired with a LANL mentor who will propose project topics and provide guidance. Each project will involve some hands-on programming of a quantum computer (either Rigetti's, IBM’s, or D-Wave’s). If time permits, the student will begin preparing their results for publication.


This highly-selective program is designed for upper division undergraduates to early graduate students. We encourage students from all STEM majors (physics, computer science, engineering, math, chemistry, etc.) to apply. Ideally, students should have some familiarity with quantum mechanics and/or linear algebra, as well as some basic programming skills (e.g., in Python). We note that both US citizens and non-US citizens are eligible to apply (citizenship is not a requirement).

Duration & Location

The program will begin on June 8th, 2020 and last 10 week. It will be held at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Students must be available to live and work in Los Alamos, New Mexico during this period.