William Kaminsky

Hertz Fellow: William Kaminsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

1998 - 2006

William (Bill) Kaminsky presently works on optimization problems as a theoretical physics consultant for D-Wave Systems, a Vancouver-based high-tech startup whose mission is to develop within the next few years a superconducting adiabatic quantum computer that can substantially outperform classical supercomputers on commercially useful optimization problems. Adiabatic quantum computation, in fact, has been the primary focus of Bill’s research in optimization problems throughout his entire scientific career. During his active Hertz Fellowship years of 2000-2004 studying for a PhD at MIT, his most notable work was a practical, scalable architecture for adiabatic quantum computers put forth with MIT Professors Seth Lloyd and Terry Orlando. This work directly influenced D-Wave in its decision to make an all-out effort to bring a commercially useful quantum computer to market.

Prior to his PhD studies at MIT, he completed a bachelor's degree in physics, summa cum laude, at Harvard in 1998 and two master's degrees in physics at the University of Cambridge in 1999 and 2000 on a Herschel Smith Harvard Scholarship.