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UChicago Quantum Quickstart

The University of Chicago is excited to present the inaugural Quantum Quickstart program as a launchpad for Illinois high school students committed to improving real-world technologies.

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. Last year, 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.

Program Details

What: A free, non-credit, week-long pre-college program hosted by the University of Chicago for Illinois high school students interested in learning about the future of quantum computing and its applications. Additional information regarding the course material can be found below.

Who: Current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who are at least 14 years old are eligible. This program is intended for students who attend high school in Illinois, and preference will be given to students in the city of Chicago.

When: July 19-23, 2021; students should be available for 4-6 hours of both synchronous and asynchronous learning per day.

Where: UChicago Quantum Quickstart 2021 will be conducted remotely online.

Application Details

Applications will be accepted online beginning in April. As part of the application, students will be asked to upload a copy of their most recent transcript, including grades from the Fall 2020 semester.

It is recommended that applicants have a basic understanding of Algebra I and Newtonian mechanics. Some computer programming experience will be helpful, but it is not required.

If you are a high school counselor or teacher in Illinois and would like to nominate students for this program, you may do so HERE.

Students do not need to be nominated to apply. The deadline to apply is May 15 and there is no application fee.


  • May 15, 2021: Application deadline
  • May 25, 2021: Decisions released – we will be in touch with selected participants about next steps via email.
  • June 1, 2021: Confirmations of enrollment due

Please reach out to Liz Schutz at or (773) 834-3011 with any questions.

Course Description

In this one-week accelerated program, curious and ambitious high school students will be exposed to the great scientific advances in quantum sciences and the physics foundation of quantum mechanics. Students will have the opportunity to learn from hands-on sessions and access faculties’ virtual labs to simulate real-world quantum problems. By the end of the week, participants will be able to solve a simple one-dimensional Schrödinger equation.

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 course will be taught by Professors Peter Maurer and Shuolong Yang.


This program is being sponsored by the Chicago Quantum Exchange and the cost of tuition and program activities will be covered by scholarship.


Please reach out to Liz Schutz at or (773) 834-3011 with any questions.