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Biography

Dr. Tom Wong is an American physicist and computer scientist who investigates quantum algorithms, and he is best known for researching how quantum computers search for information in databases and networks. Tom is a tenure-track assistant professor of physics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, but he is currently on loan as the Quantum Liaison at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy National Quantum Coordination Office and a Program Manager at the Department of Energy.

Tom is the author of the textbook, Introduction to Classical and Quantum Computing, whose only prerequisite is trigonometry. He is also the creator of Qubit Touchdown, a board game that teaches single-qubit gates with an American football theme. Tom is a former high school teacher; before graduate school, he was a math teacher at an inner-city high school.

Prior to joining Creighton, Tom was a postdoctoral researcher in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin under Dr. Scott Aaronson. Before that, he was a postdoctoral researcher in computer science at the University of Latvia under Dr. Andris Ambainis. Tom earned a PhD in theoretical physics from UC San Diego under Dr. David Meyer, and his dissertation was selected as the best thesis in the Division of Physical Sciences. Tom graduated from Santa Clara University, triple majoring in physics, computer science, and mathematics while minoring in urban education.

While in graduate school, Tom designed, built, and programmed a photo booth, which he turned into a successful business. While in undergrad, Tom interned for IBM for two years, where he created a system to manage test software for enterprise disk storage systems.

As an Eagle Scout, Tom enjoys backpacking and the outdoors. He also plays guitar, renovates homes, and enjoys open source software. He also serves on the editorial board of Quantum Information Processing, a quantum computing journal published by Springer Nature.

Publications

Textbook: Introduction to Classical and Quantum Computing

As announced on Twitter, I wrote a FREE quantum computing textbook! It's based on an introductory quantum computing course that I've been teaching at Creighton University since 2018. From the beginning, I wrote all my lecture notes and homework problems in a textbook format. A link to the free PDF is below. By popular demand, relatively affordable print versions are also available on Amazon. For reviews of the textbook, click here and here.

Cover of Textbook

Introduction to Classical and Quantum Computing is for students who want to learn quantum computing beyond a conceptual level, but who lack advanced training in mathematics. The only prerequisite is trigonometry, and mathematics beyond that will be covered, including linear algebra. This book is suitable as a course textbook or for independent study.

The text begins with a significant overview of classical computing, from how they add numbers to their computational limits, and it mirrors many of the quantum computing topics that are covered later. Then, the investigation of quantum computing begins with a single qubit and quantum gates acting on it, first using geometry and elementary algebra, and later using linear algebra. Computer algebra systems are utilized, and code for both Mathematica and SageMath is included. After one qubit, multi-qubit systems are covered, including how quantum computers add numbers, universal gate sets, and error correction. After this, readers learn how to program quantum circuits on actual quantum processors using IBM Quantum Experience. Afterward, entanglement and quantum protocols are explored. Finally, quantum algorithms are examined, culminating in Shor's algorithm for factoring. Abundant use of the Quirk quantum simulator is used throughout. Finally, a short discussion of careers in quantum computing is provided, along with some possible technical topics to learn next.

Qubit Touchdown: A Quantum Computing Board Game

I made a quantum computing board game!

Qubit Touchdown is an easy-to-learn, football-themed, two-player competitive game. Take turns moving the football across the field by playing action cards. Whoever scores the most touchdowns wins!

The game's mechanics come directly from quantum computing, but absolutely no knowledge of quantum computing is necessary to play. For the curious, a card on "The Physics of Qubit Touchdown" is included, making Qubit Touchdown a fun, approachable way to learn about quantum information science.

How to Get Qubit Touchdown:

Quantum Information Science High School Frameworks

From 2021-2022, I was a part of two focus groups on incorporating quantum information science into high school physics and high school computer science courses. The focus groups were part of the National Q-12 Education Partnership and Q2Work, a NSF funded program. Together, we produced two frameworks for quantum education:

Research Papers

Research Mind Map

YearNo.Title. Authors. Journal.
2021 39 Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk with Symmetry Breaking
J. Rapoza (Undergraduate) and T. G. Wong
Physical Review A 104, 062211 (2021) | arXiv:2108.13856
2021 38 Implementing Quantum Gates Using Length-3 Dynamic Quantum Walks
I. A. Adisa (Master's Student) and T. G. Wong
Physical Review A 104, 042604 (2021) | arXiv:2108.01055
2021 37 Equivalent Laplacian and Adjacency Quantum Walks on Irregular Graphs
T. G. Wong and J. Lockhart
Physical Review A 104, 042221 (2021) | arXiv:2107.05580
2021 36 Simplifying Continuous-Time Quantum Walks on Dynamic Graphs
R. Herrman and T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 21, 54 (2022) | arXiv:2106.06015
2020 35 Unstructured Search by Random and Quantum Walk
T. G. Wong
Quantum Information and Computation 22, 53 (2022) | arXiv:2011.14533
2020 34 Search on Vertex-Transitive Graphs by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk
M. L. Rhodes (Undergraduate) and T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 19, 334 (2020) | arXiv:2002.11227
2019 33 Isolated Vertices in Continuous-Time Quantum Walks on Dynamic Graphs
T. G. Wong
Physical Review A 100, 062325 (2019) | arXiv:1908.00507
2019 32 Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk with Nonhomogeneous Weights
M. L. Rhodes (Undergraduate) and T. G. Wong
Physical Review A 100, 042303 (2019) | arXiv:1905.05887
2018 31 Quantum Walk Search on the Complete Bipartite Graph
M. L. Rhodes (Undergraduate) and T. G. Wong
Physical Review A 99, 032301 (2019) | arXiv:1812.06079
2018 30 Optimal Quantum Walk Search on Kronecker Graphs with Dominant or Fixed Regular Initiators
A. Glos (PhD Student) and T. G. WongABC
Physical Review A 98, 062334 (2018) | arXiv:1809.01249
2018 29 Quantum Walk Search on Kronecker Graphs
T. G. Wong, K. Wünscher (Master's Student), J. Lockhart (PhD Student), and S. Severini
Physical Review A 98, 012338 (2018) | arXiv:1804.10560
2017 28 Faster Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk
T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 17, 68 (2018) | arXiv:1706.06939
2017 27 Coined Quantum Walks on Weighted Graphs
T. G. Wong
Journal of Physics A 50, 475301 (2017) | arXiv:1703.10134
2016 26 Equivalence of Szegedy's and Coined Quantum Walks
T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 16, 215 (2017) | arXiv:1611.02238
2016 25 Exceptional Quantum Walk Search on the Cycle
T. G. Wong and R. A. M. Santos
Quantum Information Processing 16, 154 (2017) | arXiv:1610.06075
2016 24 Stationary States in Quantum Walk Search
K. Prusis (Master's Student), J. Vihrovs (Master's Student), and T. G. Wong ABC
Physical Review A 94, 032334 (2016) | arXiv:1608.00136
2016 23 Oscillatory Localization of Quantum Walks Analyzed by Classical Electric Circuits
A. Ambainis, K. Prusis (Master's Student), J. Vihrovs (Master's Student), and T. G. Wong ABC
Physical Review A 94, 062324 (2016) | arXiv:1606.02136
2016 22 Engineering the Success of Quantum Walk Search Using Weighted Graphs
T. G. Wong and P. Philipp
Physical Review A 94, 022304 (2016) | arXiv:1605.04862
2016 21 Irreconcilable Difference Between Quantum Walks and Adiabatic Quantum Computing
T. G. Wong and D. A. Meyer
Physical Review A 93, 062313 (2016) | arXiv:1603.05423
2016 20 Quantum Walk Search on Johnson Graphs
T. G. Wong
Journal of Physics A 49, 195303 (2016) | arXiv:1601.04212
2015 19 Laplacian versus Adjacency Matrix in Quantum Walk Search
T. G. Wong, L. Tarrataca, and N. Nahimov
Quantum Information Processing 15, 4029 (2016) | arXiv:1512.05554
2015 18 Doubling the Success of Quantum Walk Search Using Internal-State Measurements
K. Prusis (Master's Student), J. Vihrovs (Master's Student), and T. G. Wong ABC
Journal of Physics A 49, 455301 (2016) (In Collection: Highlights of 2016) | arXiv:1511.03865
2015 17 Quantum Walk on the Line through Potential Barriers
T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 15, 675 (2016) | arXiv:1509.07112
2015 16 Faster Quantum Walk Search on a Weighted Graph
T. G. Wong
Physical Review A 92, 032320 (2015) | arXiv:1507.07590
2015 15 Correcting for Potential Barriers in Quantum Walk Search
A. Ambainis and T. G. Wong ABC
Quantum Information and Computation 15, 1365 (2015) | arXiv:1505.02035
2015 14 Quantum Walk Search with Time-Reversal Symmetry Breaking
T. G. Wong
Journal of Physics A 48, 405303 (2015) | arXiv:1504.07375
2015 13 Quantum Walk Search through Potential Barriers
T. G. Wong
Journal of Physics A 49, 484002 (2016) (In Special Issue: Emerging Talents) | arXiv:1503.06605
2015 12 Completeness is Unnecessary for Fast Nonlinear Quantum Search
D. A. Meyer and T. G. Wong ABC
arXiv:1502.06281
2015 11 Quantum Search with Multiple Walk Steps per Oracle Query
T. G. Wong and A. Ambainis
Physical Review A 92, 022338 (2015) | arXiv:1502.04792
2015 10 Grover Search with Lackadaisical Quantum Walks
T. G. Wong
Journal of Physics A 48, 435304 (2015) | Corrigendum | arXiv:1502.04567
2015 9 Spatial Search by Continuous-Time Quantum Walk with Multiple Marked Vertices
T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 15, 1411 (2016) | arXiv:1501.07071
2014 8 Diagrammatic Approach to Quantum Search
T. G. Wong
Quantum Information Processing 14, 1767 (2015) | arXiv:1410.7201
2014 7 Connectivity is a Poor Indicator of Fast Quantum Search
D. A. Meyer and T. G. Wong ABC
Physical Review Letters 114, 110503 (2015) | arXiv:1409.5876
2014 6 Nonlinear Quantum Search (PhD Dissertation)
T. G. Wong
UC San Diego (2014) | arXiv:1506.04388
2014 5 Global Symmetry is Unnecessary for Fast Quantum Search
J. Janmark (Master's Student), D. A. Meyer, and T. G. Wong ABC
Physical Review Letters 112, 210502 (2014) | arXiv:1403.2228
2013 4 Quantum Search with General Nonlinearities
D. A. Meyer and T. G. Wong ABC
Physical Review A 89, 012312 (2014) | arXiv:1310.7301
2013 3 Nonlinear Quantum Search Using the Gross-Pitaevskii Equation
D. A. Meyer and T. G. Wong ABC
New Journal of Physics 15, 063014 (2013) | arXiv:1303.0371
2011 2 Optimal Asset Allocation for Passive Investing with Capital Loss Harvesting
D. N. Ostrov and T. G. Wong
Applied Mathematical Finance 18, 291 (2011)
2009 1 Treatment of ion-atom collisions using a partial-wave expansion of the projectile wavefunction
T. G. Wong, M. Foster, J. Colgan, and D. H. Madison
European Journal of Physics 30, 447-452 (2009) | LASS Student Paper (2007)

Research Presentations

Month/YearTitle. Event. Location.
Aug. 2022 Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk with Symmetry Breaking (Invited Talk, Video).
Graph Theory, Algebraic Combinatorics and Mathematical Physics.
Centre de Recherches Mathematiques, Montreal, Canada (Virtual)
Aug. 2022 Teaching Quantum Computing: From Fast Facts to Full Courses (Keynote, Video).
IBM Quantum Educator Summit.
Virtual
Oct. 2021 A Quantum Computing Course at a Liberal Arts University (Talk).
Workshop on Gaps in Postsecondary Quantum Education and Training.
College Park, MD (Virtual)
Sept. 2021 Quantum Information Science: A Global, National, and Local Perspective (Invited Talk, Highlights).
Creighton University Physics Seminar.
Omaha, NE (Virtual)
Aug. 2021 Simplifying dynamic quantum walks for quantum gates (Invited Talk, Video).
Workshop on Algebraic Graph Theory and Quantum Information.
The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Virtual)
Jul. 2021 Equivalent Laplacian and Adjacency Quantum Walks on Irregular Graphs (Invited Talk, Video).
Algebraic Graph Theory Seminar.
University of Waterloo (Virtual)
Apr. 2021 Tutorial on Quantum Walks (Invited Tutorial Talk, Video).
Sixth International Conference for Young Quantum Information Scientists (YQIS 6).
Michigan State University (Virtual)
Feb. 2021 Search on the Complete Graph by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk (Invited Talk, Video).
University of Waterloo Course on Combinatorics and Quantum Walks.
Waterloo, CA (Virtual)
Oct. 2020 Quantum Search on Vertex-Transitive Graphs (Invited Talk).
University of Nebraska Omaha Physics Gateway Course.
Omaha, NE (Virtual)
Mar. 2020 Isolated Vertices in Continuous-Time Quantum Walks on Dynamic Graphs (Talk, Video, Slides).
American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting.
Denver, CO (Virtual)
Jan. 2020 Spatial Search using Lackadaisical Quantum Walks (Invited Talk, Video).
9th International Conference on Quantum Simulation and Quantum Walks.
Marseille, France
Dec. 2019 Searching the Complete Bipartite Graph using Coined and Lackadaisical Quantum Walks (Invited Talk).
Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) Winter Meeting 2019.
Toronto, Canada
Oct. 2019 Introduction to Quantum Computing: From Qubits to Teleportation (Invited Talk).
University of Nebraska Omaha Physics Gateway Course.
Omaha, NE
Feb. 2019 Quantum Walk Search on Kronecker Graphs (Poster).
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Albuquerque, NM
Feb. 2018 Faster Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk (Poster).
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Santa Fe, NM
Oct. 2017 Faster Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk (Invited Talk).
Grinnell College Physics Seminar.
Grinnell, Iowa
June 2017 Degenerate Perturbation Theory as a Tool for Quantum Search (Invited Talk).
Canadian Discrete and Algorithmic Mathematics Conference (CanaDAM).
Toronto, Canada
Apr. 2017 Faster Search by Lackadaisical Quantum Walk (Poster).
Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship Spring Meeting.
Dayton, OH
Feb. 2017 Oscillatory Localization of Quantum Walks (Poster).
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Baton Rouge, LA
Jan. 2017 Irreconcilable Difference Between Quantum Walks and Adiabatic Quantum Computing (Poster).
20th Conference on Quantum Information Processing (QIP 2017).
Seattle, WA
Dec. 2016 Challenges and Successes in Quantum Search on Graphs (Talk).
UC San Diego, Department of Mathematics
San Diego, CA
Dec. 2016 An Open Problem in Quantum Walk Search (Talk).
Sacred Heart University, Department of Computer Science
Fairfield, CT
Dec. 2016 Quantum Computing with Bose-Einstein Condensates and Effective Nonlinearities (Talk).
Creighton University, Department of Physics
Omaha, NE
July 2016 Laplacian versus Adjacency Matrix in Quantum Walk Search (Talk).
Half-Day Workshop on Theoretical Computer Science.
Riga, Latvia
Mar. 2016 An Irreconcilable Difference Between Quantum Walks and Adiabatic Quantum Computing (Poster).
Aspen Winter Conference on Advances in Quantum Algorithms and Computation.
Aspen, CO
Feb. 2016 Quantum Walks through Potential Barriers (Talk).
University of Latvia's 74th Annual Conference.
Riga, Latvia
Jan. 2016 Quantum Walks through Potential Barriers (Poster).
19th Conference on Quantum Information Processing (QIP 2016).
Banff, Canada
Dec. 2015 Introduction to Quantum Algorithms, Grover Search and Quantum Walks, and Spatial Search by Quantum Walk (Three Invited Talks).
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI).
Daejeon, South Korea
Sept. 2015 Grover Search with Lackadaisical Quantum Walks (Talk).
QALGO Project Meeting.
Riga, Latvia
May 2015 Grover Search with Lackadaisical Quantum Walks (Talk).
Latvian-Brazillian Informal Workshop.
Riga, Latvia
May 2015 On the Breakdown of Quantum Search with Spatially Distributed Marked Vertices (Poster).
Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication, and Cryptography (TQC 2015).
Brussels, Belgium
Mar. 2015 Quantum Search with Better-than-Quadratic Speedup over Classical Random Walk (Talk).
NASA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL) Seminar.
Mountain View, CA
Feb. 2015 Quantum Computing with Bose-Einstein Condensates and Effective Nonlinearities (Talk).
Santa Clara University Physics Colloquium.
Santa Clara, CA
Feb. 2015 Degenerate Perturbation Theory as a Tool for Quantum Search (Poster).
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Berkeley, CA
Feb. 2015 Connectivity is a Poor Indicator of Fast Quantum Search (Talk).
University of Latvia's 73rd Annual Conference.
Riga, Latvia
Feb. 2015 Quantum Search with Better-than-Quadratic Speedup over Classical Random Walk (Talk).
University of Latvia, Faculty of Computing.
Riga, Latvia
Feb. 2015 Quantum Search with Better-than-Quadratic Speedup over Classical Random Walk (Talk).
University of Cambridge, Centre for Quantum Information and Foundations (CQIF) Group Meeting.
Cambridge, UK
Feb. 2015 Quantum Computing with Bose-Einstein Condensates and Effective Nonlinearities (Talk).
University of Cambridge, Centre for Quantum Information and Foundations (CQIF) Seminar.
Cambridge, UK
Nov. 2014 Quantum Computing with Bose-Einstein Condensates and Effective Nonlinearities (Talk).
University of Latvia, Quantum Physics Seminar.
Riga, Latvia
Oct. 2014 Degenerate Perturbation Theory as a Tool for Quantum Search (Talk).
Estonian-Latvian Theory Days.
Ratnieki, Latvia
Sept. 2014 Quantum Computing with Bose-Einstein Condensates and Effective Nonlinearities (Talk).
Rice University Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics Seminar.
Houston, TX
June 2014 Nonlinear Quantum Search (Talk).
UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
San Diego, CA
Mar. 2014 Nonlinear Quantum Search (Poster).
Aspen Winter Conference on Advances in Quantum Algorithms and Computation.
Aspen, CO
Feb. 2014 Nonlinear Quantum Search (Poster).
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Santa Fe, NM
Feb. 2013 Nonlinear Quantum Search (Talk).
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Santa Barbara, CA
Feb. 2011 Speeding up Grover's algorithm by evolving via the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. (Poster)
Southwest Quantum Information and Technology Workshop (SQuInT).
Boulder, CO
Aug. 2007 Calculation of Differential Cross Sections for Proton-Helium Collisions Through the Use of High Peformance Computing (Poster).
Los Alamos National Laboratories Student and Postdoc Symposium.
Los Alamos, NM

In the Press

Month/YearTitle. Source.
Mar. 2022 Podcast with Tom Wong, Quantum Information Scientist and Author
The Qubit Guy's Podcast
Nov. 2021 Quantum Computing: History, Advancements, & Applications with Professor Tom Wong
Digital Innovator Podcast
July 2021 Qubit Touchdown with Tom Wong
Quantum Computing Now Podcast
Mar. 2021 Could Time Travel Ever Work?
Gizmodo
Feb. 2021 Tom Wong - Quantum Computing
The Blunt Report Podcast | The Blunt Report YouTube
Oct. 2019 Google and IBM Clash Over Milestone Quantum Computing Experiment
Quanta Magazine | The Atlantic
May 2019 The Physics of Avengers Endgame
Medium
Apr. 2019 A New Approach to Multiplication Opens the Door to Better Quantum Computers
Quanta Magazine
Apr. 2018 Quantum Computing: A Soccer Analogy
Medium
Apr. 2017 Tunneling in quantum search: an Emerging Talents Lab Talk with Thomas Wong
JPhys+ Blog
Sept. 2016 Meet the meQuanics - E19 - Dr. Tom Wong (UT Austin)
YouTube: meQuanics E19
Sept. 2016 Ambainis's Gravitational Field (in Latvian)
Ir Magazine (in Latvian)
Sept. 2015 Boosting database performance for quantum computers
LU Faculty of Computing Press Release
Mar. 2015 Quantum Information Takes the Connectedness Out of Search
Motherboard
Mar. 2015 Data structures influence speed of quantum search in unexpected ways
UC San Diego Press Release | Phys.org
May 2014 Some Quantum Computing to Go with Your Enterprise?
IT Business Edge
May 2014 Quantum Computing: Global Symmetry Not Required to Speed Up Quantum Search
International Business Times
May 2014 New analysis eliminates a potential speed bump in quantum computing
Phys.org | reddit
July 2013 Our nonlinear quantum search results were included in Wikipedia
Wikipedia: Grover's Algorithm
June 2013 Quantum Computing May Make Big Data Unstructured Search Lightning Fast
33rd Square
June 2013 A quantum computing solution for unstructured search
Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
June 2013 New Scheme for Quantum Computing
UC San Diego Press Release | Phys.org | reddit

Teaching

Courses at Creighton University (Tenure-Track Assistant Professor)

Spring 2022 Fall 2021 Spring 2021 Fall 2020 Spring 2020 Fall 2019 Spring 2019 Fall 2018 Spring 2018 Fall 2017

Courses at the University of San Diego (Adjunct Professor)

Spring 2014 Fall 2013 Spring 2013

Courses at Downtown College Prep (High School Teacher)

Contact

Email: Please Click to See My Email Address

Twitter: @thomasgwong

Page Last Updated: October 24, 2022