Yu Wang

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Harvard Medical School

E-mail: wangyu9 at mit.edu
Address: D475A, 32 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139

This is the webpage of Yu Wang and hosted on GitHub pages.

About Me

I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT with a PhD minor in Mathematics, where I was a member of the Geometric Data Processing (GDP) Group. I am currently a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

My PhD work recently receives the prestigious ACM SIGGRAPH Doctoral Dissertation Award Honorable Mention! I sincerely thank all my collaborators and mentors.

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in applying computing, mathematics, learning, and optimization to solving real-world problems. My previous works bridge visual computing and mathematics, specializing in designing algorithms to process, learn, and analyze manifolds, shapes, and deformation.

Representative Work

I try to attack practical problems in computer science at the level of mathematics. My PhD thesis initiates a program to systematically design novel algorithms by replacing the ubiquitous Laplacian operator with better or even optimal alternatives.

  • Geometric Computing beyond the Laplacian.
    Ph.D. Thesis, MIT, 2023. ACM SIGGRAPH Doctoral Dissertation Honorable Mention. PDF
    Joint work with Vladimir Kim, Michael Bronstein, Justin Solomon, Mirela Ben-Chen, Iosif Polterovich, Minghao Guo. Committee: Justin Solomon, Frédo Durand, Laurent Demanet (Math), Steven Gortler (Harvard). Qualify: Suvrit Sra and Erik Demaine.

A recent focus of my work is to characterize the structure of diffeomorphisms through the lens of PDEs (in the inverse-problem and optimal-control setting), and to leverage the mathematics to design algorithms that are much faster and more robust.

  • Variational Quasi-Harmonic Maps for Computing Diffeomorphisms.
    Yu Wang, Minghao Guo, Justin Solomon. ACM Trans. on Graph. 42(4). Paper Dropbox.
    In short, we show and computationally leverage that
    Injectivity = {Quasi-Harmonic} + {Dirichlet & Neumann Boundary}

Following up in this direction, I am interested in developing generic methods for geometric signal representation with the variational quasi-harmonics.

Research Areas

Visual & Geometric Computing, Computer Graphics, Vision & Imaging, Applied Mathematics, Computational Physics, Partial Differential Equations (PDEs), Discrete & Computational Geometry, Inverse Problems & Optimal Control, Machine Learning.
3D Vision & Shape Analysis, Medical Imaging, Geometric Deep Learning, AI for Science & Data-driven PDE, Differentiable Programming, Physical Simulation, Convex Optimization & Numerical Algorithms.

Selected Publications

  • Variational Quasi-Harmonic Maps for Computing Diffeomorphisms.
    Yu Wang, Minghao Guo, Justin Solomon.
    ACM Trans. on Graph. 42(4). ACM SIGGRAPH 2023 (Journal Track). OpenAccessPaper Dropbox 26 pages. Code Release in Progress (Sorry for some delay!).

  • Fast Quasi-Harmonic Weights for Geometric Data Interpolation.
    Yu Wang and Justin Solomon.
    ACM Trans. on Graph. 40(4). ACM SIGGRAPH 2021. OpenAccessPaper. 15 pages. Code

  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Operators for Shape Analysis.
    Yu Wang and Justin Solomon.
    Processing, Analyzing and Learning of Images, Shapes, and Forms, 2019. Preprint Publisher

  • Learning Geometric Operators on Meshes.
    Yu Wang, Vladimir Kim, Michael Bronstein and Justin Solomon.
    International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) 2019 Workshop.
    Representation Learning on Graphs and Manifolds. Paper

  • Steklov Spectral Geometry for Extrinsic Shape Analysis.
    Yu Wang, Mirela Ben-Chen, Iosif Polterovich and Justin Solomon.
    ACM Trans. on Graph. 38(1). Presented at ACM SIGGRAPH 2019.
    OpenAccessPaper. arXiv. Code

  • Steklov Geometry Processing: An Extrinsic Approach to Spectral Shape Analysis.
    Master Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Paper

  • Linear Subspace Design for Real-Time Shape Deformation.
    Yu Wang, Alec Jacobson, Jernej Barbič and Ladislav Kavan.
    ACM Trans. on Graph. 34(4). ACM SIGGRAPH 2015. Paper

  • Grid-Based Nonlinear Elasticity with Spline Constraints for Image Deformation.
    Rajsekhar Setaluri, Yu Wang, Nathan Mitchell, Ladislav Kavan, Eftychios Sifakis.
    ACM SIGGRAPH / Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA) 2015. Paper

  • Vision-based Probabilistic Localization for Soccer Robots.
    Yu Wang, Senior Thesis, Tsinghua University.


Teaching Experience

Selected Awards

Work Experience

  • Research Intern, Creative Intelligence Laboratory, Adobe Research.
  • Research Intern, Visual Computing Group, Microsoft Research.
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, Los Angeles.
  • Research Assistant, Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology (TNList).

Professional Service


  • ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 6 times
  • IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (TSMC)
  • SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences (SIIMS)
  • IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG)
  • Nature Scientific Reports
  • International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)
  • Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS)
  • AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
  • Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS)
  • Eurographics and Pacific Graphics (EG & PG)
  • Computers & Graphics
  • and a few others

Program Committee Member

  • Graphics Replicability Stamp Initiative (GRSI)
  • Shape Modeling International (SMI)

Technical Skills & Subjects

(at the graduate level)

Math & Phys Differential Geometry and Manifold, Measure Theory, Real and Functional Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, Complex Analysis, Mathematics of Modern Physics, Modern and Optimal Control Theory, Inverse Problems, Optimal Transport, Computational Physics and Math, Physically Based Simulation, Numerical Methods for PDEs;

AI & ML Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Advanced Computer Vision, Deep Learning, Advanced Machine Learning, Computational Learning Theory, Bayesian Modeling and Computing, Information (Theoretic) Inference;

Stats & Opt & EE Statistical Inference II, Topics in Probability and Statistics, Modern Convex Optimization, Numerical Nonlinear Optimization, Signal Processing and Analysis, Operations Research, Statistical Computing and Monte Carlo Methods;

CS Advanced Algorithms, Distributed System Engineering, Computer Architecture, Software System Engineering, Modern Computer Networks, Modern Operating System, Algorithms for Big Data, Theoretical Computer Science.