Aaronson is David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, a position he has held since 2016. Before UT, he was a professor of computer science at MIT. Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist who’s also one of the world’s leading experts in quantum computing, graduated from Cornell University with a degree in computer science (a minor in mathematics). He did his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley.
Aaronson is known for his work on quantum computing, an important (and still unsolved) topic in computer science that seeks to model computers on quantum “bits” of information, known as q-bits. While performing fundamental work on quantum computing itself, Aaronson is also known for his “no-nonsense” admissions of the difficulties the field of quantum computing faces, as there is currently no working model of quantum computation scalable to handle real-world computing tasks. His much read article “The Limits of Quantum Computers,” appeared in Scientific American in 2008.
Aaronson has been hugely influential as a popularizer of difficult ideas in complexity theory and quantum computing. He is a favorite of the media, who frequently cite his opinions and work in popular accounts of difficult subjects. His book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, appeared in 2013.
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