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Durham University

Research & business

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First Encounters With Quantum Computing: Can Games Teach Quantum Reasoning?

A research project of the School of Education.


We need better ways to communicate the latest innovations in quantum computing and we will co-construct educational frameworks with citizens where the purpose is to improve public engagement in Quantum Computing, in order to allow a wider audience than the accredited quantum physicist to be able to contribute in the field, with as little supervision as possible. Getting input from people without a strong quantum information background is crucial, since for the most part experts in the areas to which quantum computing will be applied are not experts in quantum computing, and importing this expertise is necessary for the field to become truly industrially relevant.

Project partner Quarks Interactive:


This citizen science project will engage a range of participants in using an innovative puzzle visualization tool, with the ultimate aim of enabling them to discover new quantum algorithms with help from industry and research experts. Project partner Quarks Interactive will contribute the puzzle visualization tool, as described above, that removes the need for the user to have an advanced mathematics and physics knowledge base which would otherwise be a barrier to engagement and learning. The aim of this first proof-of-concept pilot project is to work with citizens from a range of backgrounds and ages, to create a learning framework for the puzzle visualization tool that then supports citizens of any age and background to improve their quantum literacy.


We will work with different age and ability groups to create appropriate educational frameworks to best support the learning for these groups. We aim to show proof of concept in terms of how quantum computation can be clarified, by engaging citizens in this early phase of development of plans for better public engagement in the topic of quantum computation. Outputs will include academic papers on educational and public outreach aspects of quantum computation; a refined interface and learning model in terms of the puzzle visualisation tool and recommendations for project partners and the wider industrial sector in terms of how to better facilitate public outreach and interdisciplinary thinking in the area of quantum computation. The ultimate goal of all of the tools and methods we will develop in this project is to increase quantum literacy within society, this includes within the general public, but also within important subgroups, including decision makers in business and government, experts in the fields to which quantum computing will be applied, and future researchers.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • First Encounters With Quantum Computing: Can Games Teach Quantum Reasoning? £19,836 from the Biotechnology and Biological Reseach Council


From the School of Education

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