Michele Mosca

Faculty, University Research Chair
Michele Mosca
Admin support: Chin Lee

Michele Mosca obtained a BMath at Waterloo in 1995 and was recipient of the Mathematics Faculty Alumni Gold Medal. He went to Wolfson College, University of Oxford, on a Commonwealth Scholarship, and received an MSc in Mathematics and the Foundations of Computer Science (with Distinction) in 1996. He continued at Oxford on a UK Communications-Electronic Security Group scholarship, obtaining a DPhil in quantum computer algorithms in 1999 while holding the Robin Gandy Junior Research Fellowship.

He is a co-founder of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Since 1999 he has been a faculty member in the Combinatorics & Optimization department of the University of Waterloo, and a member of the Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research, with cross-appointments in Computer Science and Physics. Dr. Mosca has made major contributions to the theory and practice of quantum information processing, particularly in the areas of quantum algorithms, techniques for studying the limitations of quantum computers, quantum self-testing and private quantum channels. Together with collaborators at Oxford, he realized several of the first implementations of quantum algorithms using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He has made major contributions to the phase estimation approach to quantum algorithms, including the hidden subgroup problems, and quantum searching and counting. In the area of quantum security, he helped define the notion of private quantum channels and develop optimal methods for encrypting quantum information using classical keys.

His current research interests include quantum algorithms and complexity, tools for optimizing the implementation of quantum circuits, and the development of cryptographic tools that will be safe against quantum technologies.

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 2010 Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, the Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2000-2005), Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) since 2010, Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computation (2002-2012), University Research Chair at the University of Waterloo (2012-present), and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).

Current Projects

  • Quantum-safe cryptography
  • Quantum algorithms and complexity
  • Methods for mapping quantum circuits to realistic architectures


  • Department of Combinatorics & Optimization, University of Waterloo
  • Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo (Founding Member and Associate Faculty)
  • David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo (cross-appointed)
  • Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Waterloo (cross-appointed)
  • Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute
  • Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research, University of Waterloo
  • Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo


  • DPhil, Mathematics, Quantum Computer Algorithms, University of Oxford, 1999
  • MSc, Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science, University of Oxford, 1996
  • BMath, Combinatorics & Optimization and Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo, 1995

Awards & Honours

  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2013
  • Canada's Top 40 Under 40, 2010
  • Fellow of CIFAR in Quantum Information since 2010
  • Recipient of the Waterloo Region 40 under 40: “Honouring those making a difference in our region”
  • Canada Research Chair, 2002-2012
  • Premier’s Research Excellence Award, Ontario, 2000-2005.
  • Fellow of the Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications, 2000-present
  • Bronze Medal (3rd in Canada), Descartes Mathematics Competition, 1990

Positions Held

Title Location When
Director CryptoWorks21, NSERC CREATE 2012-Present
University Research Chair University of Waterloo 2012-Present
Full Professor Department of Combinatorics & Optimization, University of Waterloo 2009-Present
Deputy Director Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo 2002-2016
Researcher Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics 2001-Present
Member Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute 2001-Present
Cross-appointed Faculty Member Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo 2001-Present
Cross-appointed Faculty Member School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo 2001-Present
Member Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research, University of Waterloo 1999-Present