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Quantum Quickstart

The Quantum Quickstart program offers Illinois high school students with a passion for STEM to be exposed to the great scientific advances in quantum sciences and the physical foundations of quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics has reshaped how we see the world around us. More recently, quantum engineering has been hailed as a science with the potential to fundamentally redefine the technological landscape and our society. Information encoded in quantum bits is known to be completely secure from hacking; computers running on quantum algorithms can solve problems that no classical computer could ever solve; and quantum systems enable the world’s most precise measurements.

Chicago has quickly become a hub for this emerging field. In 2020, Argonne and the University of Chicago created a 52-mile quantum loop as a crucial step to the quantum internet. The Chicago area is also home to two of five National Quantum Centers.

This summer, Illinois high school students with a passion for STEM are invited to apply to Quantum Quickstart, a free, one-week accelerated session that introduces quantum engineering, led by faculty from UChicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Students will gain understanding of why the language of classical physics is not sufficient to describe our universe and be inspired to dive deeper into quantum mechanics and its applications.

Course Description

It was refreshing to be able to interact and learn from experienced experts in such a welcoming and inviting environment. I felt I learned so much and I'm excited to apply my knowledge of quantum in the future. My favorite part was seeing Prof. Maurer and Prof. Yang's labs. I'd recommend Quantum Quickstart to everyone and anyone. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this time.
- Vivi M., William Jones College Prep, Class of 2023 -

In this one-week accelerated program, curious and ambitious high school students will have the opportunity to learn from hands-on sessions and access faculties’ virtual labs to simulate real-world quantum problems. Participants will gain direct experiences in the counter-intuitive quantum world through theoretical discussions and experimental explorations.

In addition to seeing the world through a quantum lens, students will also attend sessions to prepare for future careers in STEM and meet with UChicago admissions counselors to learn about highly selective college admissions. This program is not for credit and participation in all sessions is required to receive the program certificate.

The program will be hosted on-campus, and program participants must reside in campus housing for the duration of the program. This course is being offered at no cost to selected participants.

Program contact: Please contact Liz Schutz at lizschutz@uchicago.edu with any questions.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants should be at least 14 years of age and be a 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student enrolled in high school within the state of Illinois. Due to Quantum Quickstart’s intensive rigor, it is strongly recommended that participants will have completed their school’s equivalent of Trigonometry or Pre-Calculus before the program. Preference will be given to students in the city of Chicago. Students of any citizenship who meet this criteria are eligible to apply.

To be considered, applicants must complete an online application, provide an updated high school transcript, and respond to a short essay. A nomination from a teacher or counselor is also recommended, and can be completed here.

When applying, applicants must select “One-Week Enrichment Programs,” and then they will be able to select this program.

Applications will be accepted online beginning in January. Early deadline: March 1. Application afterwards will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 1.

TUITION & FEES

All costs, inclusive of tuition, room, and board, for this program are completely covered. Students will need to have their own health insurance.

PROGRAM DATES

July 18 - July 22, 2022

Arrival date: Sun., July 17

Class starts: Mon., July 18

Class concludes: Fri., July 22

Departure: Fri., July 22