Elham Kashefi is a Reader (Associate Professor) at the school of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Laboratory for Foundation of Computer Science. She obtained her PhD in computer science in 2003 from Imperial College London and was awarded then the Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford Christ Church College for 2003 – 2007. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo (2005 – 2006). She was ranked first for the CNRS, CR1 competition 2007. She obtained in 2008 the Advanced Research Fellowship award for 5 years from UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, funding her research on measurement-based quantum computing. She is recently elected to the Young Academy of Scotland, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2011. She has been elected as an Associate Lecturer at the CNRS-Telecom ParisTech in 2011. She has co-founded QUISCO (QUantum Information SCotland network) in 2008 that consists of 2 computer science and 3 physics groups working on all aspects of quantum information science.
Elham Kashefi has explored the potential of quantum information theory from its formal and foundational aspects to actual cryptographic experiments. She has conducted a thorough investigation of measurement-based quantum computing, obtaining “flow” conditions for unitarity, and a general structural separation of classical and quantum information leading to the formulation of a new cryptographic protocol, universal blind quantum computing. This protocol demonstrated for the first time the possibility of preserving the privacy of computation using quantum properties and its adaptation to the setting of interactive proof systems has prompted a new approach to quantum complexity theory to settle two long- standing conjectures on the power of quantum verifiers. These series of results have an importance of their own and received strong praise and interest in the international theoretical quantum community. They also have practical implications on the reliability and verifiability of information obtained by quantum systems. The protocol has been recognised as “the major breakthroughs” of the field and its recent experimental demonstration has established it as a key to successful deployment in real-life applications of unconditionally secure quantum networks.