John Watrous
Email: my last name at
Office: QNC 3312
Office hours: Tu 10–11, W 2:30–3:30

Teaching Assistant

Abel Molina
Email: amolinap at
Office: QNC 2212
Office hours: Th 4–5


Monday and Wednesday 10–11:20 in QNC 1201

Course information and materials

Course outline [pdf, html]


Course text:

J. Watrous. The Theory of Quantum Information. Cambridge University Press, 2018. [html]

Lecture schedule

The lectures topics listed below should be considered tentative for future lectures. Readings will be posted as the lectures take place.

September 4

Lecture 1: Course overview; registers and states

Reading: pages 58–64, plus the course outline

You may also wish to read through relevant parts of Chapter 1, to clarify the notation used in the course and to review various concepts from linear algebra. (In general, Chapter 1 should be consulted as needed, throughout the course.)

September 9

Lecture 2: Compound registers and reductions of states

Reading: pages 65–69.

September 11

Lecture 3: Purifications of states

Reading: pages 70–76. Also be sure to familiarize yourself with the operator-vector correspondence (i.e., the vec mapping) discussed on pages 23–24.

September 16

Lecture 4: Channels and their representations

Reading: pages 72–81.

September 18

Lecture 5: Characterizations of channels

Reading: pages 82–91.

September 23

Lecture 6: Examples of channels; measurements

Reading: pages 91–96, 100–109.

September 25

Lecture 7: Similarity and distance measures for states

September 30

Lecture 8: Semidefinite programming

October 2

Lecture 9: Optimal measurements and channels

October 7

Lecture 10: Entropy and source coding

October 9

Lecture 11: Von Neumann entropy and quantum relative entropy

October 14

No lecture (Thanksgiving and reading week)

October 16

No lecture (Thanksgiving and reading week)

October 21

Lecture 12: Joint convexity of quantum relative entropy

October 23

Lecture 13: Strong subadditivity and Holevo's theorem

October 28

Lecture 14: Majorization for real vectors and Hermitian operators

October 30

Lecture 15: Weyl covariant channels and Schur channels

November 4

Lecture 16: Separability for states

November 6

Lecture 17: LOCC and separable channels

November 11

Lecture 18: Nielsen's theorem

November 13

Lecture 19: Measures of entanglement

November 18

Lecture 20: PPT states

November 20

Lecture 21: The completely bounded trace norm

November 25

Lecture 22: Unitarily invariant measures

November 27

Lecture 23: Applications of unitarily invariant measures

December 2

Lecture 24: TBD

Problem sets

Problem set 1 (due Friday, October 4)

[pdf, LaTeX]


Abel's Exercise set 1



A project handout will be posted here when it is available.