The Simons Foundation has just announced the recipients of the Simons Investigator awards for 2012. These awards are similar in spirit to the MacArthur awards: the recipients did not know they were under consideration for the grant, and you can’t apply for it. Rather, you must be nominated by a panel. Each award winner will each receive $100,000 annually for 5 years (and possibly renewable for an additional 5 years), and their departments and institutions each get annual contributions of $10,000 and $22,000 respectively.

This year, they made awards to a collection of 21 mathematicians, theoretical physicists, and theoretical computer scientists. There are a lot of good names on this list, but the one that overlaps most with the quantum information community is undoubtedly Matt Hastings. The citation for his award specifically mentions his important contributions to quantum theory such as the 1D area law and the stability result for topological order (joint with Bravyi and Michalakis). However, it doesn’t mention anything about superadditivity of quantum channels!

Here is the citation for those of you too lazy to click through:

Matthew Hastings’ work combines physical insight and mathematical power to make profound contributions to a range of topics in physics and related fields. His Ph.D. thesis produced breakthrough insights into the multifractal nature of diffusion-limited aggregation, a problem that had stymied statistical physicists for more than a decade. Hastings’ recent work has focused on proving rigorous results on fundamental questions of quantum theory, including the stability of topological quantum order under local perturbations. His results on area laws and quantum entanglement and his proof of a remarkable extension of the Lieb-Schulz-Mattis theorem to dimensions greater than one have provided foundational mathematical insights into topological quantum computing and quantum mechanics more generally.

Congratulations to Matt and the rest of the 2012 recipients.

About time! Congrats Matt! I need to get my act together and finish updating our result on the Quantum Hall Conductance…

Congrats to Matt!

Hooray Matt! Thanks for patiently teaching me a little physics.

Looking at the other 20, I am very humbled! But since QI sits somewhere in the intersection of physics, computer science, and math, maybe it is appropriate to have QI represented in an award like this. I think one of the great things about QI is that people from such disparate fields have been so willing to spend time explaining things, even if often my questions about other fields have been basic undergraduate material.