26 April - 28 April 2012


Dr. Michele Mosca

Dr. Michele Mosca

Harnessing Quantum Physics for Computation, Communication and Cryptography

Information is stored in a physical medium and manipulated by physical processes. Any meaningful model of computation or information processing must be cast in a realistic physical framework. The classical paradigm for physical theories has been replaced with quantum theory, and over the past century we have moved from observing quantum effects to controlling them. What practical impact does quantum theory have on information processing? The quantum features of nature lead to qualitatively different and apparently more powerful models of computation and communication. For example, quantum mechanics appears to fundamentally change some of the basic assumptions underlying modern cryptography. Factoring large numbers is in fact "easy" if and when we build large quantum computers. Eavesdropping is intrinsically detectable, and in a quantifiable way, if one uses an appropriate quantum encoding of information. I will introduce quantum theory, and how it reshapes information processing, and give some examples of the applications.


Dr. Michele Mosca obtained his DPhil in 1999 from the University of Oxford. He is a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, co-founder and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, and a Professor in the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization of the Faculty of Mathematics. Dr. Mosca has made major contributions to the theory and practice of quantum information processing. He has done pioneering work in quantum algorithms, including the development and application of the phase estimation approach to quantum algorithms. Together with collaborators at Oxford, he realized several of the first implementations of quantum algorithms using nuclear magnetic resonance. In the area of quantum cryptography, he and his collaborators developed fundamental methods for performing reliable computations with untrusted quantum apparatus, defined the notion of private quantum channels, and developed optimal methods for encrypting quantum information using classical keys. Dr. Mosca's work is published widely in top journals, and he co-authored the respected textbook "An Introduction to Quantum Computing" (OUP). Dr. Mosca has won numerous academic awards and honours, including Canada's Top 40 under 40 (2010), the Premier's Research Excellence Award, Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and a Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computation.