Dr. Barbara Jones is currently in the Quantum Applications group in IBM Quantum at IBM Research Almaden in San Jose, California. Over the years at IBM she has been a manager of both experimental and theoretical groups, working on a number of areas both fundamental and more applied, including magnetic recording heads and media. She has also been a Consulting Professor at Stanford University in Physics and Applied Physics Departments, and supervised Ph.D. students (with two Ph.D.’s granted). Currently her interests are with projects involving theories of quantum interactions in molecular and atomic-scale magnetic systems.
Recent papers include a project she led to calculate the unexpected effects of magnetic atoms on metallic/insulating surfaces, as engineered and measured by Scanning Tunneling Microscope, as well as two papers on quantum computing, one on theory and one involving running a program on the IBM hardware. She also has an active interest in biophysics, particularly modeling viral mutation and evolution, with one paper published and another in progress; as well she works on quantum applications in the areas of health and life sciences.
Dr. Jones received her A.B. from Harvard College. She spent the following year at Cambridge University doing Part III of the Mathematics Tripos and received a Master’s degree. She did her Ph.D. at Cornell University solving the two-impurity Kondo problem using Numerical Renormalization Group with advisor Chandra Varma at Bell Labs, and then a postdoctoral position at Harvard with Professor Bert Halperin on high-Tc superconductivity. Dr. Jones has worked at IBM since 1989.
Dr. Jones has given hundreds of invited talks worldwide, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is a recipient of a TWIN Award (Tribute to Women in Industry). She is past Chair of the Physics Section of the AAAS, and a recent past member of the Council of AAAS. She is past Chair of the APS Forum on Industrial Applications of Physics, the largest unit of the APS, as well as of the Chair of the Division of Condensed Matter Physics. She is a member of the committee who wrote the most recent National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey of Materials, appearing in March 2019, as well as recent past member of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academy of Science. She also chairs the External Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation Nanomaterials Center (MRSEC) at Princeton University. She is in addition an Honorary Member of the Aspen Center for Physics.
She also serves on many other science advisory committees, and is organizer of international conferences in the U.S. and Europe.
Chair and Founder of the APS/IBM Research Internships for Undergraduate Women and Under-represented Minorities, member and past Chair of the APS’s Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (1999-2002), and past Chair of the IBM Almaden Diversity Council, she is strongly interested in promoting opportunities in science and math for all students.