Xiao-Gang Wen received a BS in physics from University of Science and Technology of China in 1982 and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1987.
He studied superstring theory under theoretical physicist Edward Witten at Princeton University. Wen later switched his research field to condensed matter physics while working with theoretical physicists Robert Schrieffer, Frank Wilczek, Anthony Zee in Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara (1987-1989).
He became a five-year member of IAS at Princeton in 1989 and joint MIT in 1991. Wen is a Cecil and Ida Green professor of Physics at MIT, a Distinguished Moore Scholar at Caltech, and a Distinguished Research Chair at Perimeter Institute.