Curriculum Vitae Serge Massar

Last updated February 2013



Personal Details


Massar, Serge Alexandre


Belgium and U.S.A.

Date and Place of Birth

11 February 1970, Ndola (Zambia)

Marital Status

Maried to Véronique Myriam Joséphine Bouquelle

Three children : Emile Adrien, Arthur Paul, Rose Elisabeth

Private Address

Avenue des Paradisiers 28, boite 3

B-1160 Bruxelles Belgium

Telephone : +32-(0)2-675-74-53


Professional Details

Professional Address

Laboratoire d'information quantique

Université libre de Bruxelles

Boulevard du Triomphe, CP 255

B-1050 Bruxelles, Belgium



+32-(0)473-76-78-15 (mobile)




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Agrégation de l'enseignement supérieur

Université Libre de Bruxelles:

Title of thesis :Quantum information theory


Doctor in Sciences

Université Libre de Bruxelles

with highest honours (« la plus grande distinction »)

Promotor: Prof. R. Brout

Title of thesis : From vacuum fluctuations to radiation: pair creation in the presence of external electric fields, accelerated detectors, accelerated mirrors and black holes


Master in Physical Sciences

Université Libre de Bruxelles

With highest honours (« la plus grande distinction »)




Director of the « Laboratoire d’information quantique »

Physics Department, Science Faculty, Université libre de Bruxelles


 Chargé de Cours at the Université libre de Bruxelles

 (permanent position)


« Research Director » of the F.R.S.-F.N.R.S

Université libre de Bruxelles

(permanent position)


« Senior Research Associate » of the F.R.S.-F.N.R.S

Université libre de Bruxelles

(permanent position)


« Research Associate » of the F.R.S.-F.N.R.S

Université libre de Bruxelles

(permanent position)


Postdoctoral Fellow

Utrecht University (Netherlands)





Postdoctoral Fellow

Tel Aviv University (Israel)

PhD student

Université libre de Bruxelles


Prizes and Scientific Distinctions


STOC 2012

Best paper award. Attributed jointly to S. Fiorini, S. Massar, S. Pokutta, H. R. Tiwary, R. de Wolf for our paper “Linear vs. Semidefinite Extended Formulations: Exponential Separation and Strong Lower Bounds »

La Recherche

Prix la Recherche (Prix du Ministère) (2010)
Attributed jointly to A. Acin, S. Massar, S. Pironio for their work “La certitude de l’Aléa Quantique”


Alcatel Bell Scientific Prize (2003)

Leverhulme Trust

Leverhulme Visiting Professorship
University of Bristol (U.K.) (2003-04)


Summary of Research Interests

During my PhD thesis I studied quantum gravity and in particular black hole evaporation. The aim of these works was to understand the gravitational backreaction to the evaporation process. Later I started working in the nascent field of quantum information, and this became my main topic of research. My most important results in this field concern quantum measurement theory, quantum cloning (I was the first to establish ultimate bounds on the quality of quantum clones), entanglement, quantum non locality (I introduced a fundamental tool to study non locality in higher dimensional systems, now known as the CGLMP inequality after the initials of the authors), quantum cryptography. At present my work focuses on the use of non locality to realize so called “device independent” quantum cryptographic tasks whose security does not rely on any modelling of the internal workings of the devices used.

In addition to the above theoretical work, I also carry out an activity in experimental quantum optics and non linear optics. In this context I study photon pair and entanglement generation, with the aim of using entanglement for quantum communication protocols.

Recently I have been devoting increasing time to artificial intelligence, machine learning and its relation to complex systems. In particular I work on the experimental implementation of the concept of “reservoir computing”.



Summary of Publications


Source: Google Scholar (GS)


Patents: 2


Publications in refereed journals: 103

Including: 1 Nature, 1 Nature Communications, 23 Phys. Rev. Lett, etc..., and 3 review articles in Phys. Repts, Eur. Phys. J. D and Rev. Mod. Phys


Conference proceedings: 43

Including: 1 Proceedings of STOC (Best paper award) and 1 proceeding of NIPS.


Total citations: 5067


h index = 35      


5 most cited papers:

568 citations

Optimal Quantum Cloning Machines,

N. Gisin, S. Massar,

Phys. Rev. Lett. 79 (1997) 2153

442 citations

Optimal extraction of information from finite quantum ensembles, 

S. Massar, S. Popescu,

Phys. Rev. Lett. 74 (1995) 1259

375 citations

Bell inequalities for arbitrarily high dimensional systems,

D. Collins, N. Gisin, N. Linden, S. Massar, S. Popescu,

Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (2002) 040404

274 citations

Device-Independent Security of Quantum Cryptography against Collective Attacks,

A. Acin, N. Brunner, N. Gisin, S. Massar, S. Pironio, V. Scarani,

Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 230501 (2007)

216 citations

A Primer for Quantum Black Hole Physics,

R. Brout, S. Massar, R. Parentani, Ph. Spindel,

Phys. Repts. 260 (1995) 329



  • 1st year Physics for Pharmacy students, taught: 2013 to present.

  • Quantum Information (24 hours per year; jointly with S. Pironio), taught: 2009-present

  • Quantum Mechanics (48 hours per year) (this is the quantum mechanics course for second or third year students in physics at ULB), taught: 2006-2010, 2011-2013

  • Cosmology (jointly with M. Tytgat), taught: 1999 to 2001


  • Supervision of 2 or 3 Master Students each year (often jointly with other Professors)


Supervision of Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Students

One of the PhD students I supervised and four of the PostDocs that worked with me have now obtained permanent positions in Academia.

I currently supervise 2 PhD students and 6 PostDocs.

Other Activities

  • Member of the Bureau Facultaire, Science Faculty, ULB. (January 2011 to January 2013)

  • Roadmap committee member for Quantum Information Processing and Communication: Strategic report on current status, visions and goals for research in Europe (

  • Evaluator of Scientific Projects for granting agencies from: European Union, France, Belgium, Israel, Switzerland, Canada, U.K.

  • Evaluator for promotions and recruitements: National University of Singapore, Gent University, Bristol University, Université libre de Bruxelles (Polytechnic Faculty)

Scientific Journals:

  • Member of the Editorial Board: Scientific Reports

  • Referee: Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, PNAS, Phys. Rev. Lett., Phys. Rev. A, New Journal of Physics, etc

Organisation and Participation in Scientific Events

Organisation of Scientific Events

(Last 5 years only: 2008-2012)

  • Co-organiser of the ECCS12 Satellite Meeting Information processing with recurrent dynamical systems: theory and experiment, Bruxelles, September 2012

  • Member of the Program Committee, ECCS12, Bruxelles, September 2012

  • Member of the Program Committee, TQC 2012, Tokyo, May 17-19 2012

  • Member of the Advisory Committee, 4th Feynman Festival and Conference, Olomouc, June 22-26 2009, see

  • Co-organiser of the Solvay Workshop Bits, Quanta and Complex Systems: modern approaches to photonic information processing, Brussels, 30 April – 3 May 2008

Invited speaker at workshops, conferences, summer schools: several invitations each year.


Successful Grant Applications 

I have obtained for myself and my collaborators significant funding over the years. In particular I have been partner of several European Union projects, one of which (RESQ) I coordinated and in one of which (QAP) I played an important administrative role. I have twice obtained funding from the Belgium Federal Government through the InterUniversity Attraction Poles Program (the most prestigious funding available in Belgium) and in particular was deputy coordinator in the project Photonics@be. I have also regularly obtained funding from the French Community of Belgium, from the Region of Brussels-Capital, from the FRS-FNRS and its associated funds, and internally from the ULB. Total external funding I obtain for myself and my collaborators is in excess of 700k€/year.