Universiteit Leiden

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Serge Fehr appointed as Professor Quantum information theory

As of 1 June, Serge Fehr has been appointed as Professor Quantum information theory at the Leiden Mathematical Institute (MI). Fehr is employed by Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and as of his appointment works one day a week at the MI. Fehr’s research is focused on quantum cryptology and will take place mainly at the group Algebra, Geometry & Number Theory.


Fehr studied at the ETH Zürich and obtained his PhD in Aarhus, Denmark in 2003. After a postdoc position in Sydney he started in the Cryptology group of Ronald Cramer at CWI in 2004, where he is a permanent tenured researcher from 2010 onwards. Fehr continues to work at the CWI for four days in addition to his professorship. Therefore, his appointment is also aimed at further strengthening the collaboration of the CWI and the MI.

Complementary expertise

In Leiden, Fehr will focus on education and research in quantum information theory and quantum computing and their applications to cryptology. This will take place partly in the context of the NWO Gravitation Quantum Software Consortium, in which the MI is one of the six main participants. With Ronald Cramer there is already a professor in cryptology at the MI; Fehr’s appointment further expands the expertise of the MI.


For Fehr, his goals for his professorship are clear. ‘I want to broaden the research domain of the MI that focuses on computational aspects by including quantum algorithms. I plan to set up an educational programme for students on the subjects quantum computing and quantum information theory. And I intend to stimulate new collaborations within the MI, but also with the Leiden Institute of Physics (LION) and with QuSoft – the Dutch research centre for quantum software.’


Fehr is an internationally highly respected and productive researcher, who has made fundamental contributions to both classical and quantum cryptography, and to quantum information theory. He publishes regularly at the two most important conferences in his discipline, CRYPTO and EUROCRYPT, where he also often serves on the programme committee. In addition, Fehr is regularly PC Chair and organiser of conferences and workshops. In 2015, he was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Cryptology, the most important journal in cryptology.

Founded in 1946, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands. It is located at Amsterdam Science Park and is part of the institutes organisation of NWO. The institute is internationally renowned. Over 150 researchers conduct pioneering research and share their acquired knowledge with society. Over 30 researchers are also employed as professors at universities. The institute has generated twenty-five spin-off companies.

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