The Full Wiki

Scott Aaronson: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scott Joel Aaronson
Born May 21, 1981
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Residence USA
Nationality American
Fields Computational Complexity, Quantum Computing
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute for Advanced Study
University of Waterloo
Alma mater Cornell University
University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisor Umesh Vazirani
Known for Quantum Turing with postselection

Scott Joel Aaronson (born May 21, 1981)[1] is a theoretical computer scientist and faculty member in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



He obtained his B.Sc. in computer science from Cornell University in 2000,[2] and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, under the supervision of Umesh Vazirani.[3]


After postdoctorates at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Waterloo, he took a faculty position at MIT in 2007.[2] His primary area of research is quantum computing and computational complexity theory more generally.


He is a founder of the Complexity Zoo wiki, which catalogs all classes of computational complexity.[4][5] He is the author of the much-read blog "Shtetl-Optimized" as well as the essay Who Can Name The Bigger Number?.[6] The latter work, widely distributed in academic computer science, uses the concept of Busy Beaver Numbers as described by Tibor Rado to illustrate the limits of computability in a pedagogic environment. An article of Aaronson's, "The Limits of Quantum Computers", was published in Scientific American,[7] and he was a guest speaker at the 2007 Foundational Questions in Science Institute conference.[8] Aaronson is frequently cited in non-academic press, such as Science News[9], The Age[10], ZDNet[11], Slashdot[12], New Scientist[13], The New York Times[14], and Forbes Magazine[15].

Intellectual property

Aaronson was the subject of media attention in October 2007, when he accused an advertising agency of plagiarizing a lecture he wrote on quantum mechanics in an advertisement of theirs.[16] He alleged that a commercial for Ricoh Australia by Sydney-based agency Love Communications appropriated content almost verbatim from the lecture.[17] Aaronson received an apologetic email from the agency in which they claimed to have sought legal advice and did not believe that they were in violation of his copyright. Unsatisfied, Aaronson pursued the matter, and the agency settled the dispute without admitting wrongdoing by making a charitable contribution to two science organizations of his choice.[17]


  1. ^ Aaronson, Scott. "Scott Aaronson". Qwiki.  
  2. ^ a b CV from Aaronson's web site.
  3. ^ Scott Joel Aaronson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  4. ^ Automata, Computability and Complexity by Elaine Rich (2008) ISBN 0132288060, p. 589, section "The Complexity Zoo"
  5. ^ The Complexity Zoo page at Qwiki (a quantum physics wiki, Stanford University)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Aaronson, Scott (February 2008). "The Limits of Quantum Computers". Scientific American.  
  8. ^ "Foundational Questions in Science Institute conference". The Science Show. ABC Radio. 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  9. ^ Peterson, Ivars (November 20, 1999). "Quantum Games". Science News (Science Service) 156 (21): 334. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  10. ^ Franklin, Roger (November 17, 2002). "Two-digit theory gets two fingers". The Age. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  11. ^ Judge, Peter (November 9, 2007). "D-Wave's quantum computer ready for latest demo". ZDNet. CNET. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  12. ^ Dawson, Keith (November 29, 2008). "Improving Wikipedia Coverage of Computer Science". Slashdot. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  13. ^ Brooks, Michael (March 31, 2007). "Outside of time: The quantum gravity computer". New Scientist (2597).  
  14. ^ Pontin, Jason (April 8, 2007). "A Giant Leap Forward in Computing? Maybe Not". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  15. ^ "Your World View Doesn't Compute". December 12, 2008.  
  16. ^ Tadros, Edmund (October 3, 2007). "Ad agency cribbed my lecture notes: professor". The Age. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  
  17. ^ a b Tadros, Edmund (December 20, 2007). "Ad company settles plagiarism complaint". The Age. Retrieved 2008-12-01.  

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address