Chief Scientist, Quantinuum

Head of Quantum-Compositional Intelligence

In addition to his post as Chief Scientist, Professor Coecke leads Quantinuum’s Oxford-based Quantum-Compositional Intelligence research team. The team’s research efforts include work in Quantum Computational Linguistics (QCL) and its practical implementation, Quantum Natural Language Processing (QNLP). Bob is Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Emeritus Professor at Wolfson College, Oxford University, and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s Computer Science and Mathematics Departments, where he teaches a course on QCL.

Professor Coecke is a founding member of the Quantum Physics and Logic (QPL) and Applied Category Theory (ACT) communities, the diamond-open-access journal, Compositionality, and the Cambridge University Press, Applied Category Theory book series.

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Before Quantinuum

Prior to Quantinuum, Professor Coecke taught "Picturing Quantum Processes" at the Department of Computer Science, Oxford University. In 2011, he became the first to have Quantum Foundations in a professorial title. He jokes that he started the role in 2010, therefore he was also the first professor to be in a superposition.

Coecke co-founded and led a multi-disciplinary research group. He taught at the Free University of Brussels; Imperial College, London; McGill University, Montreal; and Cambridge University. He has been awarded 33 grants, including Flanders Research Foundation, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Leverhulme, EU-STREP, US Office of Naval Research, and US Air Force Office of Scientific Reasearch, including three personal fellowships and the first large European Union grant within the Computer Science Department at Oxford while a post-doctoral student. Professor Coecke currently has a Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) and a John Templeton Foundation grant.

Professor Bob Coecke
Research Highlights


Completed writing, Quantum in Pictures, a secondary school book with Stefano Gogioso.


With his QCI team, developed lambeq, an open-source toolbox for QCL and QNLP.


With Giovanni de Felice, Konstantinos Meichanetzidis, and Alexis Toumi, ran the first QNLP implementation on quantum hardware.


In a foundational paper, provided a mathematical foundation, DisCoCirc, for how sentences interact in a text to produce the meaning of that text.


Completed the dodo book, Coecke, Bob, and Aleks Kissinger. Picturing Quantum Processes. Cambridge University Press, 2017. The volume provides a fully diagrammatic treatment of quantum theory and its applications. Dr. Kissinger is an Associate Professor of Quantum Computation, Oxford University.


With Will Zeng, initiated Quantum Natural Language Processing (QNLP) foundational paper.


With Rob Spekkens and Tobias Fritz, developed mathematical foundations for resource theories.


With Aleks Kissinger started ZW-calculus as a valuable variation of ZX-calculus.


Developed ZX-calculus with Ross Duncan as a refinement of CQM. Using CQM, with Mernoosh Sadrzadeh and Steve Clark, developed DisCoCat model of meaning for natural language.


Pioneered Categorical Quantum Mechanics (CQM) with Samson Abramsky. Published foundational paper. CQM is now in AMS’s MSC2020 classification.

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Edited volumes

Samson@60 and Lambek@90 festschrifts (2013, 2014)


Professor Coecke’s papers can be found on Google Scholar.

Career Support

Find Bob’s previous PhD students in Mathematics Geneology.

Professor Coecke does accept new students

In The News

Bob’s work has been covered in various media outlets, including Forbes [1, 2], New Scientist, Physics World, Computer Weekly [1, 2], The Quantum Insider [1, 2, 3]. The Quantum Zeitgeist listed Bob as one of the twenty most influential people in quantum computing.

Talks & Discussions

First QNLP experiments

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QNLP history with skeletons

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QISS on Compositional Intelligence

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ML Street Talk

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