Erica Xu


I'm passinate about education, cooking, designing, programming and cats. My MBTI type is INTJ.

I believe the current education system is flawed because its original purpose doesn't make sense any more, like the QWERTY keyboard. But rather than slowing down something as trvial as typing speed, the public education systems are slowing down the speed of everything.


Cooking from First Principles

An attempt to deconstruct cooking to the first principles.

I believe cooking whatever you like however you like will be easy once you know and can reason from the first principles, and this project is for verifying this hypothesis.


Started in March 2015, Dynalist aims to be the best cross-platform outliner app.

Created in collaboration with Shida Li.


MyFood is a mobile web app that simplifies meal planning.

All you need to do is to tell it what's in your fridge and what's on your grocery list. Add your recipes too - the things you know how to cook. Then simply use the planner to plan meals. It will tell you what ingredients are missing.

Created in collaboration with Shida Li.

To-do list:
  1. Recommend recipes based on what you have in fridge;
  2. Gamification elements.

UW Course Indexer

Fluid and responsive course search tool for 5,600+ courses with data fetch on demand and browser cache.

Created in collaboration with Shida Li.

To-do list:
  1. Prerequisite parsing (which will be painful since the data is unstructured);
  2. Built in degree requirement for popular degrees.

Tab Star

Chrome extension that makes keeping important tabs easy. Get rid of all other tabs in a keystorke. Available at Chrome Web Store; alternatively you can get the version hosted on my site. Learn more about it here.

Easy Explain

This website is under active development. This project is being thought over. It tries to help people understand things more easily and also faster. For more details, see this blog post. It's inspired by BetterExplained.

Marmo UI

MarmoUI beautifies and improves University of Waterloo's testing server Marmoset. See before and after screenshots here. Hosted on GitHub.

Created in collaration with Shida Li.

résumé (outdated)

Read my résumé

Comment from Hongwei Liu at MappedIn: "Erica has greatly exceeded expectations this term as our newest software developer. Despite limited experience, she has done exceptional work developing the Editor and Analytics modules. Erica is able to intuitively understand the requirements of customers and co-workers with only high-level detail and the result is always a clean, polished product.

We have been impressed by her abilities, work ethic, and personality in general (she offered to give up pay when she went and worked remotely in California. We declined).

It has been a pleasure working with her this past term. Erica is awesome."