Joseph Emerson

Joseph Emerson
Faculty, Associate Professor

Joseph obtained his B.Sc. in physics at McGill University in 1993, followed by a Master's (1995) degree in experimental nuclear physics from Simon Fraser University (SFU).

The focus of his PhD degree in theoretical physics, also from SFU, was quantum-classical correspondence for chaotic dynamical systems. After his PhD Joseph took up a two year post-doctoral position at Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT), where he studied the interface of randomness, decoherence, and quantum chaos, and developed techniques for understanding and overcoming the challenges confronting the practical implementation of quantum information algorithms.

Joseph is currently a faculty member of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, studying quantum computing and the foundations of quantum theory. He still does not understand why quantum mechanics is so weird.

Current projects

  • Quantum information science (characterization and control of open quantum systems algorithms for randomized benchmarking and quantum control, quantum state and process tomography, quantum state and unitary t-designs
  • Foundations of quantum theory (quasi-probability representations, criteria for quantum-classical contrast)
  • Quantum chaos (observable criteria, conditions for emergence of classical chaos in macroscopic limit)

Academic affiliations

  • Faculty Member, Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), University of Waterloo
  • Scholar, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)
  • Faculty Member, Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute
  • Affiliate Member, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Awards & Honours

  • Early Researcher Award from Ontario Government (2008-2013)
  • Scholar, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (2008-2013)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (2003-2005)
  • SFU Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award (1999)
  • Simon Fraser University Graduate Fellowship x 4 (1996-2000)

Major Positions:

Title Location When
Associate Professor Department of Applied Mathematics and the Institute for Quantum Computing, the University of Waterloo 2005-Present
Visiting Professor Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics 2001-2003
Ph.D. Student and Research Assistant Department of Physics, Simon F 1995-2001
Masters Student and Research Assistant TRIUMF Laboratory 1993-1995