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Renate Loll, Utrecht University (2010-Present). Professor Loll is a Professor of Theoretical Physics
and a member of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at
Utrecht University. Her research centres on quantum gravity, the search for a consistent theory that
describes the microscopic constituents of spacetime geometry and the quantum-dynamical laws
governing their interaction. She has made major contributions to loop quantum gravity and, with her
collaborators, has proposed a novel theory of quantum gravity via ‘Causal Dynamical Triangulations.’
Professor Loll heads one of the largest research groups on non-perturbative quantum gravity
worldwide and is the recipient of a prestigious personal VICI-grant of the Netherlands Organization
for Scientific Research. Professor Loll is a Perimeter Institute Distinguished Research Chair and is also
a lecturer in the Perimeter Scholars International program.
John Preskill, California Institute of Technology (2009-Present). Professor Preskill is the Richard P.
Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics and the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information
at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Until the mid-1990s, Professor Preskill’s many
contributions included work on superheavy magnetic monopoles in the early universe which led to the
inflationary universe, the proposal that axions may comprise the universe’s cold dark matter, and the
theory of local discrete symmetries. Since the mid-1990s, his research has focused on mathematical
issues related to quantum computation and quantum information theory. Professor Preskill is a past
Sloan Research Fellow, a two-time recipient of the Associated Students of Caltech Teaching Award,
and an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was also the Morris Loeb Lecturer at
Harvard University in 2006.
David Spergel, Princeton University (2009-Present). Professor Spergel is the Charles Young Professor
of Astronomy at Princeton, as well as the Chair of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences. He is
known for his work on the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission. Professor Spergel
is a MacArthur Fellow as well as a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is currently
the chair of the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. He was co-awarded
the 2010 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, along with Charles L. Bennett and Lyman A. Page Jr., for his
leadership of the WMAP experiment, which has enabled precise determinations of the fundamental
cosmological parameters, including the geometry, age, and composition of the universe.
Erik Peter Verlinde, University of Amsterdam (2010-Present). Professor Verlinde is a Professor of
Theoretical Physics at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam. Professor
Verlinde is world renowned for his many contributions, including Verlinde algebra and the Verlinde
formula, which are important in conformal field theory and topological field theory. His research
centres on string theory, gravity, black holes, and cosmology. He recently proposed a holographic
theory of gravity which appears to lead naturally to the observed values of dark energy in the universe.
Birgitta Whaley, University of California, Berkeley (2010-Present). Professor Whaley is a Professor
in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Director of
the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center. Professor Whaley’s research centres
on understanding and manipulating quantum dynamics of atoms, molecules, and nanomaterials in
complex environments to explore fundamental issues in quantum behaviour. She has made major
contributions to the analysis and control of decoherence and universality in quantum information
processing, as well as to the analysis of physical implementations of quantum computation. Professor
Whaley is also known for her theory of molecular solvation in nanoscale superfluid helium systems.
Current research includes theoretical aspects of quantum information science, quantum simulation of
exotic topological phases, and exploration of quantum effects in biological systems.