Dr R.M. de Wolf (1973) has been appointed Professor of Theoretical Computer Science, specialising in Algorithms and Complexity at the Faculty of Science (FNWI) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
Ronald de Wolf is working on the theory of potential computers of the future, based on quantum mechanics. These quantum computers can currently only be built on a small scale, but are potentially much more powerful than classical computers. De Wolf has investigated both the strengths and weaknesses of such computers, the role of quantum computers in communication networks and also the connections between quantum computing and classical computing.
De Wolf has showed that mathematical techniques developed in quantum computing, can produce surprising results in the analysis of classical computers. It is this last component of his research which he wants to expand on in particular, partly because it does not require a quantum computer to be built. Besides quantum computing, he has worked on logic, machine learning, complexity theory, and data structures. De Wolf will focus his teaching on quantum computing and applied discrete mathematics and combinatorics.
De Wolf has been working at the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) in Amsterdam since 2002, first as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a senior researcher since 2007. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). In 2003 he received the ERCIM Cor Baayen Award for most promising young researcher in computer science and applied mathematics from one of the ERCIM Countries. De Wolf received a Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2005, and a Vidi grant three years later. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Theory of Computing and Quantum Information & Computation.