Dirk Oliver Theis

Dr. rer. nat. habil.
Dirk Oliver Theis
Associate Professor
dotheis at ut dot ee

  • Diplom in mathematics Heidelberg (8/2002)
  • Dr. rer.nat. Heidelberg (12/2005, summa cum laude*)
  • Habilitation to Priv.-Doz. (math) Magdeburg (5/2012)
  • Assoc. Prof. in Theoretical Computer Science at Uni Tartu (since 3/2013)


Applied mathematics, particularly optimization; quantum algorithms.

My papers on arXiv:

Research Group

Current PhD students
  • Evgenii Dolzhkov: Quantum algorithms
  • Javier Gil Vidal: Mathematics of quantum computation
  • Anti Ingel (MSc Uni Tartu)
Some former students
  • Abdullah Makkeh, PhD 2018 ➜ postdoc in Göttingen
  • Mirjam Friesen, BSc ➜ PhD Uni Magdeburg, Germany
  • Michael Bode, Diploma ➜ PhD Birmingham
  • Thorsten Bonato, Diploma ➜ PhD Heidelberg
Information for prospective (PhD) students
  • You need tons of math!
  • You need to be able to communicate effortlessly in English. (I’m mainly thinking of the effort of the people you’re talking to 🙂.)
  • I’m very selective with theory-only students: If your ambition is to prove difficult theorems then I require that you are able to do the following tasks independently:
    – Proving difficult theorems 😅
    – Writing down long proofs rigorously and readably
    – Reading research papers; literature search.
  • If in addition to to thinking about the theory you enjoy writing quantum-related mathematical software, then your task will mostly be to prototype quantum-computing stuff in the Julia programming language. E.g., implement some new method that we are developing and compare it to existing methods.
  • In order to get a PhD in quantum computer science in my group, it makes sense to go through the MSc program in computer science here at Uni Tartu, and specialize in Theoretical Informatics (which includes quantum computer science). Total duration (MSc+PhD) is 6 years.


  • MTAT.05.008 Math Foundations
    • Fall, 1st graduate semester
    • 6 ECTS
    • ➢ Linear algebra (with applications to quantum mechanics)
  • MTAT.05.118 Introduction to Quantum Algorithms
    • Spring, 2nd graduate semester
    • 6 ECTS
    • ➢ Basic quantum algorithms
  • MTAT.05.124 Quantum Seminar
    • Every semester.
    • 3 ECTS (4x)
Reading Courses


Make an appointment by email.