Two PI Faculty Members Named Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada

Perimeter Institute Faculty member Lee Smolin and Associate Faculty member Richard Cleve have been honoured with Canada's highest academic accolade.

Perimeter Institute (PI) is pleased to congratulate Faculty member Lee Smolin and Associate Faculty member Richard Cleve on their election as Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), Canada’s highest academic accolade. Professors Smolin and Cleve join PI Faculty members Robert Myers, Cliff Burgess, and Raymond Laflamme, who are also RSC Fellows.

On receiving the announcement, PI Director Neil Turok commented, “These are welcome and well-deserved honours. Lee Smolin and Richard Cleve are both outstanding scientists who have played pioneering roles in their respective fields of quantum gravity and quantum computation.”

About Lee Smolin

Professor Smolin is a founding Faculty member at Perimeter Institute whose contributions span several fields of theoretical physics, most notably quantum gravity, which seeks to unify Einstein’s theory of special relativity with quantum mechanics. He co-founded a leading candidate theory called “loop quantum gravity”, and has led the development of a new approach to the phenomenology of quantum gravity known as “deformed special relativity”. He has also authored three popular books addressing the major conceptual and philosophical puzzles confronting modern physics.

Professor Smolin’s previous honours include the Majorana Prize (2007), Fellowship in the American Physical Society (2007), and the Klopsteg Memorial Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers (2009), for his “extraordinary accomplishment in communicating the excitement of physics to the general public.”

About Richard Cleve

Professor Cleve, who is jointly appointed as a Faculty member at the Institute for Quantum Computing and the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, has played a key role in building Canada’s international leadership in quantum computing. He helped to open up the field of quantum communication complexity, where quantum information can be used to drastically reduce communication costs in some scenarios, and co-discovered quantum-walk algorithms that can provide exponential speed-up over classical computers.

Professor Cleve is a Fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Quantum Information Program, and was the 2008 winner of the CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, awarded by the Canadian Association of Physicists and Centre de recherches mathématiques.

In learning of his election, Professor Smolin said, “I am especially grateful for this because I am a very happy immigrant to Canada. I see Canada as the country of the future and I am very proud to be able to contribute to that future, through PI and otherwise.”

Professors Smolin and Cleve will be formally inducted as Fellows at a ceremony to be held on November 27, 2010, in Ottawa.    

About the Royal Society of Canada

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists. It is Canada’s national academy. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences. The RSC consists of nearly 2000 Fellows, men and women who are selected by their peers for outstanding contributions to the natural and social sciences, in the arts and in the humanities. As Canada’s national academy, the RSC exists to recognize academic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote Canadian culture.

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About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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