Selim Akl

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Selim G. Akl [1]

Selim G. Akl,
a Canadian computer scientist and professor at Queen's University in the School of Computing, where he leads the Parallel and Unconventional Computation Group [2]. His research interests covers algorithm design and analysis, in particular parallel and unconventional computing. He made his Ph.D. Statistical Analysis of Some Properties of Solutions to the Traveling Salesman Problem under the supervision of Monroe Newborn [3] at McGill University in 1978, where he also researched on the principal continuation and the killer heuristic [4] . As postdoc at Queen's University he published various papers on Parallel Search.

Quantum Chess

Quantum Chess, a variant of the chess game invented by Selim Akl, uses the weird properties of quantum physics. Unlike the chess pieces of the conventional game, where a pawn is a pawn, and a rook is a rook, a quantum chess piece is a superposition of "states", each state representing a different conventional piece. In Quantum Chess, a player does not know the identity of a piece (that is, whether it is a pawn, a rook, a bishop, and so on) until the piece is selected for a move. Once a piece is selected it elects to behave as one of its constituent conventional pieces, but soon recovers its quantum state and returns to being a superposition of two or more pieces [5].


In the quantum chess computer game created by computer science student Alice Wismath (right),
a piece that should be a knight could simultaneously also be a queen, a pawn or something else.
Wismath based the game on an idea proposed by computer science professor Selim Akl [6]

Selected Publications

[7] [8] [9] [10]


  • Selim Akl, Monroe Newborn (1977). The Principal Continuation and the Killer Heuristic. 1977 ACM Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 466-473. ACM, Seattle, WA.

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External Links


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