Gilles Brassard has been elected an international member of the National Academy of Sciences

Recognized as the father of quantum computing in Canada and one of the pioneers of this discipline in the world, Gilles Brassard was elected an international member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the United States on April 27. He is the first professor to be admitted there at the University of Montreal.

Created by an Act of the United States Congress signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the prestigious American society now has 2,461 American members and 511 international members. This year, only two Canadians were elected, Daniel J. Drucker, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Giles Brassard from the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at UIDM.

A private NGO, NAS is responsible for advising the United States on science and technology issues. Its members are chosen in recognition of their extraordinary contribution to research and its involvement is considered one of the highest honors to be received by a scientist.

When physics and computing meet on the beach …!

It was the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics and NAS member Anthony James Leggett nominated Gilles Brassard for two of his most famous contributions globally, such as quantum cryptography and quantum teleportation – both of these disciplines. The basis is considered.

It was in collaboration with a long-time partner that Mr. Brassard was able to make these discoveries, which led to this appointment, namely physicist and cryptologist Charles Bennett, himself a member of the NAS since 1997.

The way the two scientists met was worth highlighting.

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“In 1979, I attended a theoretical computer science conference in Puerto Rico and, between two conferences, I went to the beach,” Professor Brassard tells. As I was swimming, a complete stranger leaned towards me and for no apparent reason, he told me that he knew how banknotes could be made that could not be fake using quantum theory … it was Charles Bennett Was!

“What’s special is that on the plane that brought me to Puerto Rico, I read an article he wrote about when I’d never heard of him before. He remembers.” But he knew that I was going to give a cryptocurrency two days later and that’s why he came to see me! “

Thus, thanks to the contribution of Charles Bennett for his research work, Gilles Brassard was able to use quantum mechanics in 1983 to develop his theories of quantum cryptography. And, in collaboration with five other researchers, including Mr. Bennett and Quebecker Cloud. Crepew, he invented the theoretical protocol of quantum teleportation in 1992, which was carried out experimentally by other researchers years later.

A Nobel Prize Soon?

Among the many (awards) and specialties that Gilles Brassard has received over the years, we can refer to the Rank Award, the Wolf Prize in Physics (of which he was the first Canadian winner), the Mykreus Quantum Prize, and the Frontiers of Knowledge. Award of BBVA Foundation. He is a foreign member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and one of the few along with the Academy Europa Research students Québéco Francophones of the Royal Society of London, where he signed the same book signed by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and many other eminent scientists.

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In Canada, he was awarded the Kilm Prize, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Marie-Victorine Prize (Prix du Québec) and the Gerhard-Herzberg Gold Medal with the Akfus Urgel-Archabolt Prize. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, as well as an officer of the National Order of Quebec and the Order of Canada.

Since last December, he is the inaugural holder of Turing Chair for Quantum Software of Quasoft at Centrum Viscande & Informatica in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Next step, a Nobel Prize?

“The nomination process is very complex and it is in the Nobel tradition not to inform the nominees: these lists remain secret for 50 years, except for the winners of the course. We will see in October! Deadpan Professor Brassard. In fact, 14 of the 26 winners of the Wolf Prize in Physics from 1978 to 2010 won the Nobel Prize.

We can only wish those who started university at the age of 13 and who earned a doctorate in theoretical computer science from the university, after doing their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science at UdeM. Cornell in 1979 … to return to him Alma mater He became an assistant professor there that year and at the age of 24 and was promoted to full professor at the age of 33!

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