Michele Mosca

Michele Mosca
Faculty, Deputy Director, Academic, University Research Chair

Michele (Mike) 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 and the Deputy Director 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.

Dr. Mosca has published widely in top journals including Nature, Physical Review Letters, and SIAM Journal on Computing. Dr. Mosca has won numerous academic awards and honours, including the Commonwealth Scholarship, the Premier's Research Excellence Award (2000-2005), and a Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computation (2002-2012). He has been a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Fellow since 2010.

Current Projects

  • Quantum algorithms and complexity
  • Quantum cryptography and testing
  • Quantum reference frames and applications


  • 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


  • D.Phil, Mathematics, Quantum Computer Algorithms, University of Oxford, 1999
  • M.Sc., Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science, University of Oxford, 1996
  • B.Math, 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
University Research Chair University of Waterloo 2012-Present
Member Quantum Information Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research 2003-Present
Deputy Director Institute for Quantum Computing 2002-Present
Cross-appointed Faculty Member Department of Physics and School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo 2001-Present
Founding Member and Associate Faculty Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics 2001-Present
Faculty Member Department of Combinatorics & Optimization, University of Waterloo 1999-Present