Microsoft Technical Fellow Michael Freedman knows a thing or two about conquering mountains — both in the physical and scientific worlds. Now, with an impressive team of mathematicians and physicists he’s assembled, Freedman is putting his mind to work on an intellectual Mt. Everest — building a “quantum computer” —world’s most powerful computing device.
In 1997, Freedman joined Microsoft Research’s Theory Group and pursue quantum topology and physics. Then, in 2004, he approached Craig Mundie about forming a team at Microsoft to tackle the Holy Grail of information science: quantum computing. Mundie upped ante, telling Freedman he shouldn’t only build a Microsoft team, but also involve academics from around the globe. The result is “Station Q,” a small group of mathematicians and physicists Freedman recruited to join Microsoft, and an extended group of 50 or so experimentalists around the world who, together with Station Q, are undertaking the fundamental research necessary to build first quantum computer.