Dr Chris Heunen

MSc, Birkhoff-von Neumann prize 2012

Photographic portrait of Christiaan Heunen

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Job title: Research Fellow
Division: Department of Computer Science
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Tags: Fellowship: Early Career, Researcher, University of Edinburgh
Related theme: ICT Mathematical sciences Quantum technologies


After my PhD at the University of Nijmegen in 2009, I took up a Rubicon Fellowship at the University of Oxford and Caltech. My work was awarded the 2012 Birkhoff-von Neumann prize. In 2013 I was awarded the EPSRC Early Career Research Fellowship, and in 2015 I joined the University of Edinburgh.

My Fellowship

Quantum computer science lies at the interface of mathematics, computer science, and physics. Understanding quantum computing in enough detail to allow its large-scale deployment will clearly transform our society, but there are several obstructions. The most fundamental ones run straight to the heart of the counterintuitiveness of quantum mechanics: one can only extract data from a quantum system from one classical viewpoint at a time. Learning more requires combining measurements from multiple classical viewpoints. Addressing this issue will advance our theoretical understanding of nature and at the same time has practical benefits to quantum technology.