Professor Bob Coecke
This is what I spend most of the past 12 years on:
So buy it! We deserve that beer that it will earn us!
More generally, I am interested in the Foundations of Physics, in particular the structures involved, with a strong structural bias towards Logic, Order and Category Theory, and their applications e.g. arXiv. I am particularly obsessed with alternatives to symbolic reasoning, mostly pictures e.g. arXiv, arXiv, arXiv. I am also active on compositional distributional models of natural language meaning e.g. arXiv, arXiv, arXiv, and I am even migrating in the direction of understanding our brain. Some popular writings on my work are The quantum linguist and Quantum mechanical words and mathematical organisms. Older work includes information domains e.g. arXiv, dynamic epistemic logic e.g. arXiv, and even longer ago, contextual hidden variable models and quantum logic. I currently have 20 PhD students, and here are some past MSc and DPhil theses from the group. I lead a multidisciplinary research group, the Quantum Group, which now has 50 plus members. My papers can be accessed via Google Scholar. On the arXiv, you'll find papers in arXiv:quant-ph, arXiv:math as well as in arXiv:CS. Here are some successful grant proposals.
Photo credit: Bernard Galewski
- [Sep'18] We started a new conference+school series in Applied Category Theory. We had a pilot last year at the Lorentz Centre, and the next one will be here at Oxford, July 15-26, 2019.
- [Jun'18] We started a new diamond open-access journal named Compositionality.
- [Mar'18] Our book Picturing Quantum Processes is now being translated to Chines, Russian and Japanese.
- [Feb'18] We have an ongoing collaboration with Cambridge Quantum Computing Inc. in the form of a business collaboration as well as an Impact Acceleration Grant, on ZX-based circuit complexity reduction.
- [Jan'18] Our paper A Catregorical Semantics of Quantum Protocols is now the highest cited paper of the past 15 years at IEEE-LiCS.
- [May'17] We received some money from the department to start setting up our `kindergarten quantum mechanics' experiments! Planing to have the actual experiments spring 2018.
- [Mar'17] Our book Picturing Quantum Processes is now out!
- [Sept'16] We have been awarded a 2.5M JTF grant Quantum Causal Structures, jointly with Vienna (Brukner), PI (Hardy, Spekkens), Pavia (D'Ariano, Perinotti), HK (Chiribella) and Queensland (Milburn). It will start early in the new year. Postdoc adds will follow...
- [Sept'16] The article on my work entitled The Quantum Linguist is among FQXi's 10 most popular articles of the past decade.
- [March'16] It's been very quiet here, firstly due to the fact that I relaunched my music career, and secondly because for the past three years my former student/postdoc Aleks Kissinger and I have been writing a book entitled Picturing Quantum Processes: A First Course in Quantum Theory and Diagrammatic Reasoning, now some 900 pages, and including thousands of pictures. It's almost done now and will appear before the end of the year. Meanwhile, lots of former students/postdocs of my group have been getting faculty positions elsewhere, including Ross Duncan, Chris Heunen, Aleks Kissinger, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh and Nikos Tzevelekos. Also, 18 of my PhD students have meanwhile finished, with 20 now on the way to that goal (see below).
- [Sept'11] A five side 1.5 M grant entitled A Unified Model of Compositional and Distributional Semantics: Theory and Applications has been awarded, with me as PI of the Oxford node. So it's official now, I am a linguist, which must be very shocking for anyone that is aware of my poor language abilities.
- [Aug'11] The paper with Raymond Lal underpinning my FQXi grant entitled Time-asymmetry of probabilities versus relativistic causal structure: an arrow of time is now available, and will appear in PRL.
- [Jul'11] I am retrospectively awarded the title of Professor of Quantum Foundations, Logics and Structures, starting October 2010.
- [Jun'11] The interdepartmental project Quantum Nanoscience: Fundamental Physics, Emerging Structures, and Implications for our Ultimate Reality has now started. It involves Computer Science (PI myself), Materials (Experiments: PI Andrew Briggs, Theory: PI Simon Benjamin), Philosophy (PI Chris Timpson), and is jointly funded by the CQT in Singapore and JTF.
- [May'11] Our "quantum physics -> natural language processing"-research (cf. this paper and this New Scientist coverage) is the cover feature of this summer's issue of our departments industry newsletter. The article is an easy read for those interested.
- [Mar'11] My 80 page paper with Ross Duncan entitled Interacting Quantum Observables: Categorical Algebra and Diagrammatics is the first category-theory related paper to appear in the New Journal of Physics. It starts with a 40 page tutorial on categorical quantum mechanics.
- [Jan'11] I obtained an FQXi Large Grant entitled A relativistic universe of interacting quantum processes, jointly written with my student Raymond Lal.
- [Jan'11] My paper Quantum Picturalism is in the top 10 of most downloaded papers of the journal Contemporary Physics.
- [Dec'10] Some of our research features in the 11 December 2010 issue of New Scientist. It made the cover heading as Quantum Linguistics Leap forward for artificial intelligence. Here is the paper jointly written with Stephen Clark and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh which it talks about, and here is a scan of that New Scientist issue.
My previous affiliations are: the Free University of Brussels where I obtained my Doctorate in Theoretical Physics, Imperial College in London where I was a post-doc in the Theoretical Physics Group, and the Mathematics and Statistics Department of McGill University in Montreal where I was a post-doc in the Category Theory Group. I was also formally affiliated to the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics of Cambridge University, on a research grant of the European TMR network Linear Logic in Computer Science. I have been offered a Long Term Visiting Scientists position at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which I took up for a period of 3 months in 2009. I held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow entitled The Structure of Quantum Information and its Ramifications for IT Aug 2006 - Jul 2011, and University Lecturer of Quantum Computer Science Jun 2007 - Sept 2010, until I became Professor of Quantum Foundations, Logics and Structures, a title awarded retrospectively in July 2011 to take effect from October 2010. I am a Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College since Jun 2007. I coordinated the EC FP6 STREP Foundational Structures in Quantum Information and Computation (QICS) - I also hold/held several EPSRC, ONR, JTF and FQXi grants.
Reconstructing quantum theory from diagrammatic postulates
John Selby‚ Carlo Maria Scandolo and Bob Coecke
In arXiv:1802.00367 [quant−ph]. January, 2018.
Graded Entailment for Compositional Distributional Semantics
Desislava Bankova‚ Bob Coecke‚ Martha Lewis and Daniel Marsden
Reasoning about Meaning in Natural Language with Compact Closed Categories and Frobenius Algebras
Dimitri Kartsaklis‚ Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh‚ Stephen Pulman and Bob Coecke
In A. Chubb J. Eskandarian and V. Harizanov, editors, Logic and Algebraic Structures in Quantum Computing and Information. Cambridge University Press. 2013.
- Compositional Distributional Models of Meaning
- Computational Linguistics
- Quantum Group
- Dynamic Epistemic Logic