Michael Nielsen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Nielsen
Michael Nielsen at Science Online London 2011
Michael Aaron Nielsen

(1974-01-04) January 4, 1974 (age 50)
Alma materUniversity of New Mexico
Known forQuantum Computation and Quantum Information
Nielsen's theorem
AwardsRichard C. Tolman Prize Fellow at Caltech, Fulbright Scholar[1]
Scientific career
FieldsPhysics, Computer science
InstitutionsLos Alamos National Laboratory
University of Queensland
Perimeter Institute
Recurse Center
ThesisQuantum Information Theory (1998)
Doctoral advisorCarlton M. Caves[2]

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


In 1998, Nielsen received his PhD in physics from the University of New Mexico. In 2004, he was recognized as Australia's "youngest academic" and was awarded a Federation Fellowship at the University of Queensland.[4] During this fellowship, he worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Caltech, and at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.[2]

Alongside Isaac Chuang, Nielsen co-authored a popular textbook on quantum computing,[5] which has been cited more than 52,000 times as of July 2023.[6]

In 2007, Nielsen shifted his focus from quantum information and computation to “the development of new tools for scientific collaboration and publication”,[7] including the Polymath project with Timothy Gowers, which aims to facilitate "massively collaborative mathematics."[8] Besides writing books and essays, he has also given talks about open science.[9] He was a member of the Working Group on Open Data in Science at the Open Knowledge Foundation.[10]

Nielsen is a strong advocate for open science and has written extensively on the subject, including in his book Reinventing Discovery, which was favorably reviewed in Nature and named one of the Financial Times' best books of 2011.[11][12]

In 2015 Nielsen published the online textbook Neural Networks and Deep Learning, and joined the Recurse Center as a Research Fellow.[13][14] He has also been a Research Fellow at Y Combinator Research since 2017.[15]

In 2019, Nielsen collaborated with Andy Matuschak to develop Quantum Computing for the Very Curious, a series of interactive essays explaining quantum computing and quantum mechanics.[16] With Patrick Collison, he researched whether scientific progress is slowing down.[17]

Nielsen resides in San Francisco.[18]


  • Nielsen, Michael A.; Chuang, Isaac L. (2010), Quantum Computation and Quantum Information (New ed., 10th anniversary ed.), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-00217-3
  • Nielsen, Michael A. (2011). Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14890-8. This book is based on themes that are also covered in his essay on the Future of Science.[19]
  • Nielsen, Michael A. (2015). Neural Networks and Deep Learning. Determination Press.
  • Nielsen, M. A. (2004). "The bits that make up the Universe". Nature. 427 (6969): 16–17. Bibcode:2004Natur.427...16N. doi:10.1038/427016b. (Review of Information: The New Language of Science (2003) by Hans Christian von Baeyer)


  1. ^ http://michaelnielsen.org/blog/michael-a-nielsen/ About Michael Nielsen
  2. ^ a b Michael Nielsen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "The Recurse Center". Recurse Center. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  4. ^ Maiden, Samantha (17 June 2004). "'Football star' salaries to boost academic research". The Australian. Canberra, ACT. p. 4. ProQuest 357585672.
  5. ^ 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, Michael A.; Chuang, Isaac (2002). Quantum computation and quantum information. AAPT.
  7. ^ "Michael Nielsen » Changing fields". 28 September 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  8. ^ Gowers, T.; Nielsen, M. (2009). "Massively collaborative mathematics". Nature. 461 (7266): 879–881. Bibcode:2009Natur.461..879G. doi:10.1038/461879a. PMID 19829354. S2CID 205050360.
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnWocYKqvhw TEDxWaterloo - Michael Nielsen - Open Science
  10. ^ "Working Group on Open Data in Science". Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  11. ^ Hannay, T. (2011). "A new kind of science?". Nature Physics. 7 (10): 742. Bibcode:2011NatPh...7..742H. doi:10.1038/nphys2109.
  12. ^ Wilsdon, James (28 October 2011). "Reinventing Discovery". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  13. ^ Recurse Center Blog
  14. ^ Recurse Center Blog
  15. ^ "Michael Nielsen's website". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Quantum Computing for the Very Curious". 18 March 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. ^ Nielsen, Patrick Collison, Michael (16 November 2018). "Science Is Getting Less Bang for Its Buck". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 December 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "michael_nielsen (@michael_nielsen) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Michael Nielsen » The Future of Science". 17 July 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.

External links[edit]