Alex Meiburg / Timeroot

Quantum ⊕ Physics ⊗ Algorithms


Hi! My name’s Alex Meiburg.

I’m at postdoc at University of Waterloo’s IQC and the Perimeter Institute. My interests generally consist of quantum information and quantum complexity theory. I got my physics PhD at UC Santa Barbara in June 2023, advised by Bela Bauer, funded by Microsoft Station Q. My undergrad was at Caltech where I earned a dual B.S. in Math and Physics.

This site

I’ve got a few pages you might like, if you like complexity theory, graph theory, or math in general.

I have a page for discussing different types of graph substrcture, such as the different ways to combine graphs together, modify them, or recognize different types of graph ‘containment’. There’s a related page for graph parameters.

I collect fun math terms. Please let me know about other ones to add!

And then I (try to) maintain a browseable complexity zoo. This is based on the Complexity Zoo wiki, but mine aims to be machine readable. This is the pretty viewer and this is the GitHub repo if you have suggestions.

Stuff I’ve Done

Below I’ve gathered my more successful pursuits. You can also check out my blog, email me (click to show), or look at other links. Here’s a link to my resume.


On the less serious side,

In the likely event that this page is out of date (Last Updated: Jun 2023), you can check my Google Scholar.


You can see my PhD defense and accompanying slides.

Here’s my Advancement to Candidacy presentation, which was on the BQP-complete constraint problems.

This was my presentations on PSD permanent hardness for FOCS 2022.

This was my presentation on generalized Hartree-Fock, for APS March Meeting 2022.

This was my presentation (PPT) on Continuous-valued Matrix Product States, for APS March Meeting 2023.


In Fall 2022, I taught a course on numerical algorithms for engineers. Course webpage here.

Computer Security

In high school I co-founded 1064CBread, a competitive computer-hacking team. We won first place in PicoCTF 2013, which was aimed at high schoolers. We then decided to aim higher at the college-level CSAW CTF. To our surprise, we qualified for the finals, and got to fly across the country to NYC. After that we had a decently successful run, becoming finalists or winners in quite a number of competitions and winning prize money here and there. Although we’ve been less active in recent years, we were finalists in Hack-A-Sat 2020, an Air Force competition about satellite hacking, where we won $10k and a satellite.

You can find a lot of my writeups on my blog. The team also has a Github repo, and a CTFTime page.

I’ve also played with UCSB’s team Shellphish a few times, although I’ve never been a core member by any means.


In 2016, I found a security vulnerability in Facebook Messenger and received a bug bounty for reporting it. They promptly fixed it.

In 2012 I found a trivially exploitable vulnerability in a popular online education platform. They have still have not patched it, despite a few reminders on my part.

In 2020 I found a vulnerability in a popular online cloud computing platform. It was patched quicky, but sadly I did not receive a bounty, and they’ve expressed that they would prefer I not talk about it publically – as some users likely using old versions of the software locally and could remain vulnerable.


I’ve enjoyed applying my math knowledge to win some money with Quantiacs. My code has managed several million USD for them over the years, and they came to Caltech and did an inteview with me. It’s given me a useful side-income. I think that a worrying large fraction of quantitative finance is essentially numerology, and that approaches should either rely on news and principals (which I will readily I admit I know nothing about) or principled mathematical foundations - not just drawing lines on a graph or magic numbers.

Here are some examples of “explanations” that I think are, frankly, garbage: 1, 2, 3.

I’m legally required, I think, to make clear that I’m not providing investment advice! - but if you want to talk math and stocks, I’d be happy to chat. Just email.


I enjoy the card game Magic: the Gathering and have a page to sort and search through my pretty sizable card collection. It intelligently cross-references with Scryfall, to allow more sophisticated searching. I also had a phone-based scavenger hunt that I used to propose to my now-wife.

I made a simple little game and got it featured on Steam! It’s called Quatris and it’s Free, wow, what a steal! I made it with my friends Charlie and Cole in high school but didn’t put it online until a while later. Hey, it even has achievements!

I enjoy attending MIT Mystery Hunt each year, and other, similar, events.

Back in high school I ran a coded chat platfom for fans of the webcomic to hang out together. During its prime years, the site had roughly 100k distinct monthly users.