I am a theoretical computer science/mathematician trying to learn more physics. I am interested in finding abstract mathematical models of systems/networks: particularly in the domains of quantum and classical mechanics. I understand things best in terms of pictures. Usually such pictures are formalized using monoidal categories, which are a ubiquitous structure in the field of category theory.

I recently defended my PhD in computer science at the University of Oxford. I am currently employed by the Université de Lorraine in France.

Here is a copy of my CV, updated March 2024.

I have recently thinking about string diagrams for classical mechanics and geometric quantization. I recently have become interested in diagramatic approaches quantum dynamics, and the categorical semantics for generating functions. I am also interested in diagrammatic approaches to quantum error correction, and recently quantum convolutional codes. I am also interested in diagrammatic and categorical formulations of infinite dimensional quantum mechanics and photonics.

I have fallen in love with bimodules and profunctors, and I am interested in their applications in theoretical computer science and linear logic.

I have lots of ideas so please feel free to contact me if anything here interests me. I will try to find projects to students looking for a purpose as I was.

You can also find me a the ZX-calculus seminar, and the category theory zulip channel.

Cole Comfort

Cole Comfort in the Cottswolds


Université de Lorraine
F 54000 Nancy

Google Scholar

Recent activities

I gave two talks (combined together) "Graphical Symplectic Algebra" and "Complete equational theories for classical and quantum Gaussian relations" at ACT 2024 in Oxford.

I gave a talk "A phase-space approach to rewriting infinite-dimensional quantum circuits," at LHC Days 2024 in Nantes.
I gave a talk "A ZX-calculus for continous-variable Gaussian quantum circuits," at the QUACS group in Saclay.
My PhD thesis "A diagrammatic approach to networks of spans and relations," was published in the Oxford University Research Archive.
I was invited to give an online talk about, "Graphical Calculi for Phase-Space Representations in Quantum Mechanics," by Dr. Branislav Jurco at the Prague Mathematical Physics Seminar at Charles University.

We put our paper "Complete equational theories for classical and quantum Gaussian relations" on the arxiv.
We put our paper "Graphical symplectic algebra" on the arxiv.
I gave an invited talk at the seminar for geometric methods in mathematics at the Technische Universität Dresden.
I successfully defended my PhD in Computer Science in the Quantum Group at the University of Oxford.
Sucessful viva
I started a postdoc at the MOCQUA group in the Université de Lorraine.



Here are some unfinished notes discussing the relation between the Benabou-Grothendieck construction to string diagrams for non-strict monoidal categories.
Plain Academic