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

Michael Aaron Nielsen
Michael Nielsen.jpg
Michael Nielsen talking at Science Online London 2011
Born (1974-01-04) January 4, 1974 (age 44)[citation needed]
Residence Canada
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of New Mexico
Awards Richard C. Tolman Prize Fellow at Caltech, Fulbright Scholar[1]
Scientific career
Fields Physics, Computer science
Institutions Los Alamos National Laboratory
University of Queensland
Perimeter Institute
Recurse Center
Doctoral advisor Carlton M. Caves[2]


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.[2] With Isaac Chuang he is the co-author of a popular textbook on quantum computing.[5]

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. ^ About Michael Nielsen
  2. ^ a b Michael Nielsen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  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. doi:10.1038/461879a. PMID 19829354. 
  9. ^ TEDxWaterloo - Michael Nielsen - Open Science
  10. ^ "Working Group on Open Data in Science". Retrieved 2009-04-17. 
  11. ^ Recurse Center Blog
  12. ^ 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.