About me

Xiaodi Wu ( in simplified Chinese )

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am also a Fellow at the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS).

I received my Phd in theoretical computer science in 2013 (advisor: Yaoyun Shi) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I received my B.S. degree in mathematics and physics in 2008 from the Academic Talent Program, Tsinghua University.

Before coming to Maryland, I was an Assistant Professor in the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Oregon from 2015 to 2017. Before that, I was a Postdoctoral Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2013 to 2015 (advisor: Aram Harrow, Scott Aaronson, Edward Farhi and Peter Shor). I was also a Simons Research Fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at Berkeley, for the program of Quantum Hamiltonian Complexity in Spring 2014 (advisor: Umesh Vazirani). I also spent two summers at the Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo as a student intern (advisor: John Watrous).

Research Interests

My research aims to fill the gap between purely theoretical study of quantum applications and experimental implementation of quantum hardware and to achieve end-to-end quantum applications. In particular, I believe that research on end-to-end applications would benefit from end-to-end thinking. To that end, my research investigates a broad range of perspectives of quantum computing, including its theoretical foundation, the theory and applications of near-term quantum devices, and the software foundation (programming languages and system) of quantum computing.

In particular, it aims to contribute to the development of quantum information and computation through the study in theoretical computer science, which includes:

  • quantum algorithms

  • quantum computational complexity

  • quantum cryptography

  • quantum entanglement and sum-of-squares (SoS) proofs

It also aims to contribute to the theory and practice of quantum machine learning, which includes:

  • quantum applications in optimization and machine learning

  • the foundation of variational quantum methods (also known as quantum neural networks)

It also aims to contribute to formal methods and programming languages (software foundation) in quantum computing, which includes:

  • quantum program analysis and verification

  • design of quantum programming languages, e.g., for domain-specific quantum applications and novel semantic constructs

  • error/resource-aware, reliable quantum program synthesis, especially optimized for near-term quantum applications

  • hardware description languages and computer-aided design for quantum devices

  • formally verified software toolchain for quantum computing (e.g. a certified optimizing complier for quantum programs)

as well as its application in quantum cryptography:

  • mechanized and automated proof of the security of quantum cryptography

I am also interested in collaborating with experimentalists. Check my Research Overview for details of my existing and on-going projects.

Shortcuts to Github of projects from my group.

Group Information

I am actively looking for students and postdocs who are interested in quantum computing.

  • For perspective postdocs, I am especially looking for candidates who have expertise in programming languages, logic, and formal methods and are interested in applying them in the field of quantum computing. For general interests in quantum computing, please consider applying to QuICS Hartree Postdoctoral Fellowship.

If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email to let me know of your interest.

  • Postdocs:

    • Liyi Li (co-advised with Mike Hicks, incoming)

    • Xiong Fan (co-advised with Jonathan Katz, 2020-)

    • Robert Rand (co-advised with Mike Hicks, 2018-2020. Now an assistant professor at University of Chicago.)

    • QuICS Hartree Postdoctoral Fellows (who I have closely worked with): Penghui Yao (now Associate Professor at Nanjing University), Xin Wang (now Staff Researcher at Baidu), Cedric Lin (now at Amazon Quantum).

  • Students:

    • Shouvanik Chakrabarti, Xuchen You, Jessica Thompson, Yuxiang Peng, Jiaqi Leng, Jacob Young, Ethan Hickman, William Xu, Haowei Deng


Research supported by


National Science Foundation (NSF)


Department of Energy (DOE)


Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)


Army Research Office (ARO)

I am part of the following collaborations:


Office: IRB 5210

Computer Science
5109 Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering
8125 Paint Branch Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Email: xwu (at) cs.umd.edu