IQC founder recognized for ground-breaking contributions to quantum research

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) have awarded Raymond Laflamme, Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo, the 2017 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. The CAP-CRM prize recognizes research excellence in Canada.

Raymond Laflamme
Early in his career, Raymond Laflamme set out to disprove the notion of a useful quantum computer. He doubted that the errors inherent in a quantum system could be overcome. This research lead him down a path to developing the first theoretical and experimental demonstrations of quantum error correction – a key element in developing a universal quantum computer. Laflamme went on to develop a blueprint for a quantum processor that was recognized as one of the most influential achievements in quantum information research.

“Raymond’s contributions to quantum science have pushed the boundaries of the field,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “His vision and leadership at IQC have positioned Waterloo, and Canada, at the forefront of a global race to realize quantum technologies and his research has advanced the field of quantum research worldwide.”

Laflamme joined the University of Waterloo in 2001 as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy to found and direct the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and become an Associate of the Perimeter Institute. Under his leadership, IQC has grown to over 200 researchers across a multidisciplinary field including science, mathematics and engineering.

“When Dr. Raymond Laflamme agreed to leave Los Alamos to become the founding Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, IQC was little more than an idea,” noted Mike Lazaridis, founder of Quantum Valley Investments and IQC Advisory Board chair. “Raymond’s vision and leadership helped IQC build world class facilities, cutting edge equipment and a unique environment that focuses on enabling researchers. Raymond’s reputation as a world class physicist and his passion for science is a natural magnet that has attracted top researchers from around the world to IQC and to Canada. The result is that in 15 short years Raymond has helped establish IQC and Canada as one of a handful of centres in the world that is at the forefront of the advancement of quantum information science and the development of new transformative quantum technologies. Congratulations Raymond on this well-deserved recognition.”

Laflamme holds a Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information and directs the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) program in Quantum Information Science. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, an honorary degree from Universite de Sherbrooke and has won various other grants and distinctions.

Laflamme will receive the CAP-CRM Prize medal at a Recognition Reception at Queen’s University on Thursday, June 1, 2017.