Untangling Quantum Information at Columbia

Meet Henry Yuen, a computer scientist exploring the boundaries between classical and quantum computers. Yuen joined Columbia Engineering as an assistant professor in January 2021.

Zhou Yu and Henry Yuen Join the Department

The computer science department welcomes two new faculty members. These new CS faculty are facilitating research and learning in natural language processing and quantum theory.

Zhou Yu

Zhou Yu
Assistant Professor 
PhD Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University 2017
BS Computer Science and BA Linguistics, Chu Kochen Honors College at Zhejiang University 2011

Zhou Yu designs algorithms for real-time intelligent interactive systems that coordinate with user actions that are beyond spoken languages, including non-verbal behaviors to achieve effective and natural communications. In particular, she optimizes human-machine communication via studies of multimodal sensing and analysis, speech and natural language processing, machine learning and human-computer interaction. 

Yu aims to bring together all the areas above to design, implement and deploy end-to-end real-time interactive intelligent systems that are able to plan globally considering interaction history and current user actions to achieve better user experience and task performance. 

Prior to Columbia, Yu was an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at University of California, Davis, where she directed the Davis NLP Lab. She is the winner of a Google GCP Credit Award and has been named an Amazon Alexa Prize Champion and a 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science.

Yu is teaching Dialog Systems this Spring and is looking for PhD, master, and undergrad students with a background in natural language processing to join her research projects.


Henry YuenHenry Yuen
Assistant Professor 
PhD Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2016
BA Mathematics, University of Southern California 2010

Henry Yuen is a theoretical computer scientist whose goal is to understand the fundamental principles of computation in a universe governed by quantum physics (such as ours). He studies questions at the interface of quantum information theory, computational complexity theory, and cryptography. 

He has made a number of contributions to the theory of quantum multiprover interactive proofs, including the discovery that such interactive proofs can verify solutions to uncomputable problems. Yuen also works on quantum cryptography; some of his contributions include designing protocols for infinite randomness expansion using untrusted quantum hardware. 

Yuen was a postdoctoral associate at UC Berkeley from 2016-2018 and an assistant professor in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Toronto between 2018–2020. He is the recipient of a Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowship and a Google Quantum Research Award.

This semester he is teaching Introduction to Quantum Computing that is aimed at graduate students and advanced undergraduates who are looking to learn about the basics of quantum computation. For his research projects, he is currently looking for talented students to work on fundamental questions that cut across mathematics, computer science, and physics.