Peter Shor

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Not to be confused with the British politician Peter Shore.
Peter Shor
Born (1959-08-14) August 14, 1959 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Computer scientist
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bell Labs
University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater Caltech
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Tom Leighton
Known for Shor's algorithm
Notable awards

Putnam Fellow (1978)[1]
Nevanlinna Prize (1998)[2]
MacArthur Fellowship (July 1999)[3]
Gödel Prize (1999)[4]

King Faisal International Prize (2002)[5]
ICS Prize (2007)[6]

Peter Williston Shor (born August 14, 1959) is an American professor of applied mathematics at MIT. He is known for his work on quantum computation, in particular for devising Shor's algorithm, a quantum algorithm for factoring exponentially faster than the best currently-known algorithm running on a classical computer.


While attending Tamalpais High School, in Mill Valley, California, he placed third in the 1977 USA Mathematical Olympiad.[7] After graduating that year, he won a silver medal at the International Math Olympiad in Yugoslavia (the U.S. team achieved the most points per country that year).[8][9] He received his B.S. in Mathematics in 1981 for undergraduate work at Caltech,[10] and was a Putnam Fellow in 1978. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from MIT in 1985.[11] His doctoral advisor was F. Thomson Leighton, and his thesis was on probabilistic analysis of bin-packing algorithms.


After graduating, he spent one year in a post-doctoral position at the University of California at Berkeley, and then accepted a position at Bell Laboratories. It was there he developed Shor's algorithm, for which he was awarded the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize at the 23rd International Congress of Mathematicians in 1998 and the Gödel Prize in 1999.

Shor began his MIT position in 2003. Currently the Henry Adams Morss and Henry Adams Morss, Jr. Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at MIT, he also is affiliated with CSAIL and the Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP).

He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Caltech in 2007.[10]

On October 1, 2011, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Lectures and panels