6.S975 Global Business of Quantum Computing (meets with 15.S20)


Graduate Level P/D/F
First half-term subject ends 4/2.
Units: 2-0-1
Instructors: William Oliver (EECS) wil8222@mit.edu,  and Jonathan Ruane (Sloan) jruane@mit.edu
Schedule:  Lecture: W4-5.30
Enrollment limited to 100
Quantum Computing (QC) offers the potential to solve certain types of problems for human kind; problems that are today, prohibitive for traditional computing. It could lead to exciting breakthroughs in areas such as improved efficiency in logistics chains, increased battery performance for cars or helping to find new pharmaceutical treatments. But what is hype and what is realistic given the development of the field in recent years and its current trajectory? What role do scientists, engineers, managers, entrepreneurs, policy makers and other stakeholders play?
This course provides multiple viewpoints including academic, industry and governmental. You will hear from leading MIT faculty and pioneering practitioners in the field. We will demystify topics such as trapped ion and superconducting qubits.
Key questions we will investigate in this class:

  • What are the differences between quantum and classical computation.
  • Are quantum computers on the verge of breaking through in terms of commercialization?
  • What are the research and engineering challenges currently faced by developers of quantum computing systems?
  • What type of commercial applications are quantum computers best suited for in the medium term?
  • What are the opportunities for firms, managers and entrepreneurs to maximize the potential for quantum computing?
  • How will QC diffuse into the economy? What role do short, medium and long term applications play?
  • What are the international implications of these technologies?

Who is the intended audience for this course?

  • MBA and other management related graduate students who are interested in understanding the intricacies of this emerging technology and want to prepare themselves to be better managers in companies that adopt QC.
  • Engineers and computer scientists interested in understanding the QC commercial landscape. Which sectors are more likely to have an impact and why? Where are the jobs going to come from? How might technological diffusion happen?
  • Anyone interested in creating a startup in the QC space.
  • Law and policy graduate students who are interested in the impact of QC on the geo-political landscape.

Course requirements:

  • This is an introductory course to the field of Quantum Computing and its commercial impact. There is no expectation that students taking the class have a technical background. However, we welcome contributions from students with direct experience or in adjacent fields such as computer science, electrical engineering or physics.