The goal of Xiaoli Ma’s research is to explore the fundamental limits of wireless links and to design novel signal processing techniques and communication networks capable of approaching these limits.
While most of Ma’s peers and colleagues have been males throughout her career, she adapted and had strong support from several key figures throughout her life. Her father helped her to decide on computer engineering as her career path. She credits her M.S.E.E. advisor, Gang Tao from the University of Virginia, and her Ph.D. advisor, Georgios B. Giannakis from the University of Minnesota, as her inspirations to pursue a career in academia.
Ma’s educational philosophy is to instill critical thinking in the classroom by addressing real challenges and teaching students how to solve problems. “The most exciting part of my job is when students tell me that they use what I taught them in class,” she said.