A University of Maryland expert on quantum computing has been named a 2023 Sloan Research Fellow, a select honor reserved for early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.
Xiaodi Wu, an assistant professor of computer science and a fellow in the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS), was chosen along with 124 other scientists and scholars in the United States and Canada to receive the award.
The two-year, $75,000 fellowships are awarded annually to early-career researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
“Sloan Research Fellows are shining examples of innovative and impactful research,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We are thrilled to support their groundbreaking work and we look forward to following their continued success.”
Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 70 faculty members from UMD have received a Sloan Research Fellowship.
Wu, who also has an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, says he will use the fellowship to further his work identifying ways to bridge the gap between the theoretical foundation of quantum computing and the limitation of realistic quantum machines. More specifically, he is interested in investigating the foundations of practical quantum applications on realistic quantum machines and building efficient and reliable systems to operate them.
To that end, Wu integrates ideas from the study of theoretical computer science, machine learning, formal methods, programming languages and computer architecture with decades of research on quantum information.
“I always believe that quantum computing is a highly interdisciplinary field, and computer scientists can make foundational contributions to the realization of quantum applications in many more ways than it is conventionally perceived,” Wu says. “Thanks to my wonderful colleagues, we realized some new possibilities at Maryland. This recognition is a big encouragement for my unique research agenda. I am very excited to explore many more possibilities with the support of the Sloan Research Fellowship.”
Wu, who has published more than 50 proceedings in peer-reviewed conferences, received a distinguished paper award at the SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages in 2021.
He also received an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Research award in 2021, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award in 2020, and an NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Initiation Initiative Award in 2018.
Additionally, he is part of a multi-institutional team that was awarded $7.5 million by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in 2021 to understand and create an efficient quantum random access memory architecture.
Before joining UMD in 2017, Wu was an assistant professor at the University of Oregon (2015-17), a postdoctoral associate at MIT (2013-15) and a Simons Research Fellow at UC Berkeley (2014).
He received his Ph.D. in theoretical computer science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2013 and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from China’s Tsinghua University in 2008.
—This article was adapted from a news release published by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences