Michael Nielsen

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Michael Aaron Nielsen
Michael Nielsen.jpg
Michael Nielsen talking at Science Online London 2011
Born (1974-01-04) January 4, 1974 (age 43)[citation needed]
Residence Canada
Nationality Australian
Fields Physics, Computer science
Institutions Los Alamos National Laboratory
University of Queensland
Perimeter Institute
Recurse Center
Alma mater University of New Mexico
Doctoral advisor Carlton M. Caves[1]
Notable awards Richard C. Tolman Prize Fellow at Caltech, Fulbright Scholar[2]

Michael Aaron Nielsen (born January 4, 1974) is a quantum physicist, science writer, and computer programming researcher living in San Francisco.[3]


In 2004 Nielsen was characterized as Australia's "youngest academic" and secured a Federation Fellowship at the University of Queensland; the fellowship was for five years.[4] He worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as the Richard Chace Tolman Prize Fellow at Caltech, and a Senior Faculty Member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Nielsen obtained his PhD in physics in 1998 at the University of New Mexico.[1] With Isaac Chuang he is the co-author of a popular textbook on quantum computing.[5]

A portrait of Michael Nielsen done in 2017 by the artist BlinkPopShift

In 2007, Nielsen announced a marked shift in his field of research: from quantum information and computation[5][6] to “the development of new tools for scientific collaboration and publication”.[7] This work includes "massively collaborative mathematics" projects like the Polymath project with Timothy Gowers.[8] Besides writing books and essays, he also gives talks about Open Science.[9]

He is a member of the Working Group on Open Data in Science at the Open Knowledge Foundation.[10]

As of 2015, Nielsen works as a Research Fellow at the Recurse Center.[11][12]


Nielsen, Michael A; Chuang, Isaac L., 1968- (2010), Quantum computation and quantum information (New ed., 10th anniversary ed.), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-00217-3 

His book Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science, published by Princeton University Press, was published in 2011.[13] This book is based on themes that are also covered in his essay on the Future of Science.[14]


  1. ^ a b Michael Nielsen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ http://michaelnielsen.org/blog/michael-a-nielsen/ About Michael Nielsen
  3. ^ "The Recurse Center". Recurse Center. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  4. ^ Maiden, Samantha (17 June 2004). "'Footbal star' salaries to boost academic research". The Australian. Canberra, ACT. p. 4. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Nielsen, Michael A.; Chuang, Isaac L. (2000). Quantum Computation and Quantum Information. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63235-5. OCLC 43641333. 
  6. ^ Nielsen, M. A. (2004). "The bits that make up the Universe". Nature. 427 (6969): 16–17. doi:10.1038/427016b. 
  7. ^ "Michael Nielsen » Changing fields". Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  8. ^ Gowers, T.; Nielsen, M. (2009). "Massively collaborative mathematics". Nature. 461 (7266): 879–881. Bibcode:2009Natur.461..879G. PMID 19829354. doi:10.1038/461879a. 
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnWocYKqvhw TEDxWaterloo - Michael Nielsen - Open Science
  10. ^ "Working Group on Open Data in Science". Retrieved 2009-04-17. 
  11. ^ https://www.recurse.com/blog/93-why-research Recurse Center Blog
  12. ^ https://www.recurse.com/blog/83-michael-nielsen-joins-the-recurse-center-to-help-build-a-research-lab Recurse Center Blog
  13. ^ Nielsen, Michael A. (2011). Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-14890-2. 
  14. ^ "Michael Nielsen » The Future of Science". Retrieved 2009-01-19.