Congratulations to Bill Wootters

One of my former professors is collecting some awards:

Professor William Wootters is to be honored for his outstanding achievements in physics, not once, but twice in the academic year, by The American Physical Society and by the International Organization for Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing.

In recognition of his pioneering work in quantum theory, the International Organization for Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing in collaboration with Tamagawa University, bestowed its 2006 International Quantum Communications Award on Wootters at a ceremony in Tsukuba, Japan, Dec. 2. The award is given every two years at the International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement, and Computing.

[...]Wootters will be awarded The American Physical Society (APS) Prize to a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution at a ceremony in Denver, Co. in March. The prize is the highest national award of its kind. It is given annually to honor a physicist recognized as contributing substantially to physics research and providing inspirational guidance and encouragement to undergraduate students participating in this research.

The APS cited Wootters "for his pioneering work on quantum teleportation, his widely cited contributions to quantum information theory, and his prolific engagement of undergraduate students in this research at the foundation of quantum mechanics."

As an undergrad, I didn't realize that Wootters was quite as well-known as he is-- I didn't figure it out until I was in grad school, and his name kept popping up in discussions of quantum information and measurement. All I knew was that he was a really nice, very smart, and incredibly enthusiastic guy, and a great teacher-- the fact that I remember anything at all about thermodynamics and statistical mechanics is a testament to his energy and enthusiasm in the classroom. Nobody else could make that material tolerable at 8:30 am.

And, as it turns out, he's done some pioneering work in quantum information. The "No-Cloning Theorem" is a particularly nice piece of work-- I hadn't appreciated how elegant it is until I taught Quantum Optics this past spring.

Congratulations to Bill. These prizes literally couldn't go to a nicer guy.


More like this