Prof Birgitta Whaley is the director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center, and Prof of Chemical Physics, both at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. She was educated at the Universities of Oxford, Harvard, and Chicago, and also took a postdoc in Israel before joining Berkeley.

Prof Whaley’s contributions to science include over 230 publications, and have spanned quantum physics, condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, quantum biology, and quantum computation and quantum information science (including quantum control/simulation). Very recently she has started working on topics in quantum gravity. Her work in quantum computation has been central to our understanding of quantum error correction, fault tolerance, and decoherence-free subspaces. It has also been applied to a variety of quantum computing architectures including semiconductors and superconductors. Her theoretical work on entanglement has clarified entanglement and decoherence mechanisms in a variety of chemical and photosynthetic systems. For this work she has received numerous awards.

Birgitta Whaley has also served on the advisory and governing boards of many scientific bodies and institutes, notably in the USA, Canada, and Australia. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the International Academy of Molecular Quantum Science, and of the American Physical Society (APS). From October 2019 to January 2021 she was a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in Washington DC.