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Nicolas Cerf


Email: ncerf (at) ulb.ac.be
Phone: +32-2-650 28 58
Fax: +32-2-650 29 41
Address: QuIC - Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles
Université Libre de Bruxelles
50 av. F. D. Roosevelt - CP 165/59
B-1050 Bruxelles

Short biography

Nicolas Cerf was born in 1965. He received a M.Eng. in Electronics and Telecommunication (1987), a M.Sc. in Physics (1988), and a Ph.D. in Physics (1993) from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He was then awarded an individual Marie Curie fellowship from the European Union and worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the Division of Theoretical Physics of the University of Paris XI in Orsay (France) for two years. His research mainly concerned quantum many-body systems and quantum Monte Carlo methods, but also extended to the statistical physics of combinatorial problems. In 1995, he joined the research faculty of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (USA) to work on quantum computation and information theory, which then became his main research interest. In 1998, he was appointed as an associate professor at the Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles (ULB), in charge of teaching classical and quantum information theory, and created the Centre for Quantum Information and Communication (QuIC). He kept, since then, occasional visiting appointments at Caltech and JPL/NASA, and spent a sabbatical at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 and 2010. He was promoted to full professor in 2009 at ULB, where he now also teaches quantum mechanics. He was elected a member of the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium in 2009.

In 2006, Nicolas Cerf received a Marie Curie Excellence Award. He also had earned the Caltech President's Fund award in 1997, the Alcatel-Bell scientific prize in 1999, and the prize of the Wernaers fund awarded by the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) in 2000. He was a member of the steering committee of the programme “Quantum Information Theory and Quantum Computation” funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF), a member of the coordination action QUROPE (Quantum Information Processing and Communication in Europe), and a member of the network of excellence QUIPROCONE (Quantum Information Processing and Communications Network of Excellence). He is or has been involved in several European research projects under the 5th Framework Program, EQUIP (Entanglement in Quantum Information Processing and Communication), CHIC (Consortium for Hamiltonian Intramolecular Computing), and RESQ (Resources for Quantum Computation), as well as under the 6th Framework Program, SECOQC (Development of a Global Network for Secure Communication based on Quantum Cryptography), COVAQIAL (Continuous Variable Quantum Information with Atoms and Light), QAP (Qubit Applications), and under the 7th Framework Program, COMPAS (Computing with mesoscopic photonic and atomic states) and HIPERCOM (High-performance coherent quantum communications). The project COVAQIAL, which he coordinated, was selected as a nominee by the Grand Jury for the 2007 Descartes Prize for Transnational Collaborative Research.

Nicolas Cerf currently heads the Centre for Quantum Information and Communication (QuIC).

See detailed curriculum vitae.


Nicolas Cerf's main contributions to quantum information science include the discovery of negative quantum information, the development of the first continuous-variable (Gaussian) quantum cloning and quantum key distribution protocols, and the invention of the adiabatic quantum search algorithm. His research interests include various aspects of quantum information theory, quantum cryptography, quantum computation, and quantum optics.

See publications list and conferences list.

Or click to see Nicolas Cerf's profile in Google Scholar.

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