About me

I’m Jake Lishman, a research software developer at IBM Quantum. Almost all of my work is open source. You’ll see me most often as a maintainer of Qiskit Terra and a language designer of OpenQASM 3. These days I primarily work in Python, Rust and C++, but I’ve written plenty of pure C, Cython, Mathematica and F# in the past as well.

I have a PhD from the Quantum Information and Ion Trapping groups at Imperial College London in the UK, under Prof. Florian Mintert and Prof. Richard Thompson. My PhD work was on making ion-trap gates for quantum computers a little bit closer to reality. I used classical optimal control theory coupled with fast numerical methods to design gates that are robust against real-world errors, even when conditions aren’t perfect. You can find a copy of my thesis here.

I got my start in open-source software working on QuTiP (GitHub page), a major quantum simulation library. My most major user-facing contributions were designing and writing the multiple-dispatch system for the new data layer of QuTiP 5, and upgrading our sparse-matrix arthimetic algorithms. I was a core admin and maintainer from summer 2020 until July 2021, when I started at IBM Quantum. I’m largely inactive on QuTiP these days.


For each of my publications, you can find the journal and preprint links below. I have also hosted a version of each here on my website, under the “direct” links. These are always the most recent version that I retain the rights to distribute; for a lot of journals, this is exactly the same as the published version.

Authors marked with an asterisk (*) are credited as joint first authors on the given paper.

Papers which have been published by a journal such as the Physical Review are copyright by the respective publisher, even if you get the file from my site.