Christopher J. Wood

IBM T. J. Watson Research Center · New York, USA · [email protected]

Theoretical Physicist + Research Scientist + Quantum Software Developer @ IBM-Q


My research interests are in quantum computing on near term noisy devices

Quantum Noise Characterization

Developing techniques for characterization, verification, and validation of the errors that occur in current quantum hardware.

Quantum Error Mitigation

Methods to supress and mitigate errors in hardware to improve the performance of current quantum hardware for near term applications.

Open Quantum Systems

Developing theoretical models for noise processes in superconducting systems, and the simulations of noise processes in open quantum systems.


See more software projects on Github

Qiskit Aer

Lead Developer

Qiskit Aer is a high-performance simulator framework for studying quantum computing algorithms and applications in the noisy intermediate scale quantum (NISQ) regime. It is written in C++ and Python and integrates with Qiskit-Terra. Some features of this library include:

  • Highly configurable noise models for simulating realistic device noise.
  • Automatic noise model generation based on device calibration information.
  • Multi-threaded paralellization through OpenMP

Qiskit Terra


Qiskit Terra is an open source Python software library for quantum computing developed at IBM-Q. My contributions to this project are in the development of the following modules:

  • Quantum simulators.
  • Quantum information library.
  • Quantum state and process tomography library.


Lead developer

QuantumUtils for Mathematica is a Mathematica software library for symbolic and numerical simulations of quantum systems including and numerous tools useful for quantum information science. It was developed by Christopher Granade, Ian Hincks and myself during our PhDs. Some features of this library include:

  • Multi-partite tensor manipulations.
  • Quantum system modeling including qudits, circuits, spins, and cavities.
  • Symbolic Lie algebra simplification for spin and cavity systems.
  • Quantum channels in multiple representations.
  • Numerical and symbolic simulators for open and closed quantum system evolution.
  • An implementation of GRadient Ascent Pulse Engineering (GRAPE) including distortions.
  • Perturbative expansion tools such as the Magnus series, the Zassenhaus formula, and matrix power series
  • Visualization functions for displaying matrices, quantum states, data etc.


For the most up to date list of publications visit Google Scholar or the ArXiv
Qiskit Backend Specifications for OpenQASM and OpenPulse Experiments

DC McKay, T Alexander, L Bello, MJ Biercuk, L Bishop, J Chen, JM Chow, AD Córcoles, D Egger, S Filipp, J Gomez, M Hush, A Javadi-Abhari, D Moreda, P Nation, B Paulovicks, E Winston, CJ Wood, J Wootton, JM Gambetta, arXiv preprint arXiv:1809.03452 (2018)

Quantification and characterization of leakage errors

CJ Wood and JM Gambetta, Phys. Rev. A 97 032306 (2018)

Efficient Z-gates for quantum computing

DC McKay, CJ Wood, S Sheldon, JM Chow, JM Gambetta, Phys. Rev. A 96, 022330 (2017)

Spin-orbit states of neutron wave packets

J Nsofini, D Sarenac, CJ Wood, DG Cory, M Arif, CW Clark, MG Huber, DA Pushin, Phys. Rev. A 94, 013605 (2016)

Cavity cooling to the ground state of an ensemble quantum system

CJ Wood and DG Cory, Phys. Rev. A 93 023414 (2016)

Characterizing quantum dynamics with initial system-environment correlations

M Ringbauer, CJ Wood, K Modi, A Gilchrist, AG White, A Fedrizzi, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 090402 (2015)

Tensor networks and graphical calculus for open quantum systems

CJ Wood, JD Biamonte, DG Cory, Quant. Inf. Comp. 15, 0759-0811 (2015)

The lesson of causal discovery algorithms for quantum correlations: Causal explanations of Bell-inequality violations require fine-tuning

CJ Wood and RW Spekkens, New J. Phys. 17 033002 (2015)

Cavity cooling of an ensemble spin system

CJ Wood, TW Borneman, DG Cory, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 050501 (2014)

Quantum correlations in a noisy neutron interferometer

CJ Wood, MO Abutaleb, MG Huber, M Arif, DG Cory, DA Pushin, Phys. Rev. A 90, 032315 (2014)

Neutron interferometry at National Institute of Standards and Technology

DA Pushin, MG Huber, M Arif, CB Shahi, J Nsofini, CJ Wood, D Sarenac, and DG Cory, Adv. H.E.P. 2014, 687480 (2014)

Quantum discord and quantum computation

A Brodutch, A Gilchrist, D Terno, CJ Wood, J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 306 012030 (2011)

Vectorization of quantum operations and its use

A Gilchrist, D Terno, CJ Wood, arXiv:0911.2539 [quant-ph] (2009)


Research Scientist

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, New York, USA.

Quantum computing theory group at IBM-Q.

October 2017 - Present

Postdoctoral Researcher

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, New York, USA.

Quantum computing theory group at IBM-Q.

January 2016 - October 2017


University of Waterloo, Canada

Institute for Quantum Computing

Doctor of Philosophy
Physics (Quantum Information)

Thesis: Initialization and characterization of open quantum systems.

January 2011 - October 2015

University of Waterloo, Canada

Perimiter Institute for Theroetical Physics

Master of Science
Physics, Perimeter Scholars Interational

Thesis: Nonlocal correlations from the perspective of causal Bayesian networks.

August 2009 - June 2010

Maquarie University, Australia

Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Physics, 1st Class Honours with University Medal

Thesis: Non-completely positive maps: properties and applications.

March 2008 - November 2008

University of Newcastle, Australia

Bachelor of Mathematics, Bachelor of Science (Physics)
March 2004 - November 2007