Forget about ugly circuit simulation software—the kind that makes you cringe with each mouse click—enter Qurious, a web-based collaboration platform for quantum circuit design.

Sabrina Atienza and George Ramonov, a team of two rising seniors from UC Berkeley, developed a web-based collaboration system in only 24 hours during AngelHack 2012, the largest nationwide hackathon of 250+ teams. In that brief time, they built javascript libraries for simulating quantum elements alongside javascript extensions for complex-value matrix operations.

“I hated those tools in school,” exclaims one of the judges during AngelHack Finals in Palo Alto, CA. “It’s great that someone has finally come up with a way to engage students in the learning process through collaboration and visual aids.”

The Qurious interface is much more intuitive with the simplicity of click-and-drop style. After the elements are positioned on the circuit design grid, students can connect the elements just by clicking on them. Once a whole circuit is assembled, a simulation button allows users to run the simulation and measure the results by clicking on the outputs of quantum gates. But how does Qurious help college students around the nation? There are several problems with the presently dominant design software: portability, concurrency, and novelty. Despite the prevalence of “downloadable” software, Qurious replaces clunky standalone applications that require painful installation. Instead, students can play with a simple web-based system that is available on any computer or phone with internet access. The issue of portability, resolved.

Concurrent access that enables collaboration is a feature that many standalone applications lack. Students interact with the Qurious design canvas to build quantum circuits and run simulations in real-time. It is possible to have multiple people using the shared grid, thereby eliminating the annoyance of sharing one computer in order to achieve a semblance of collaborative learning.

One major component of Qurious is the quantum circuit simulator itself. In advanced classes such as quantum computing, it is necessary to have visual aids for optimal learning experience. This is especially true given that quantum computing courses do not have the best tools for practical simulations of theory discussed in class.

Qurious is under the active development right now. We strive to incorporate more appropriate features to facilitate the learning process for college students; we strive to make learning and collaboration enjoyable, as it should be! Video chat, split screen sharing, personalized profile system, and broadcasting are just a few add-ons up and coming.

The best way to learn is to teach. Qurious’ collaboration capabilities offer an entirely new approach to education by enabling student to engage in real-time peer sessions, which enhance the learning experience for all participants. Such platforms will have a crucial role in a higher standard of education, in which the interactive learning process triumphs over dull screen-staring.

This is the dawn of a new era of educational tools. Qurious is opening the door to a whole new world of future scientists, a world that boasts the power of quantum computing, a world of intelligent web platforms and real-time collaboration even within the college setting. So let us be a little curious ourselves, and walk into that door.

[Image credit: Lungstruck on Flickr]