In 1947, he went to France for further study at the University of Strasbourg. In 1949, he received his PhD, for his thesis Sur les classes caractéristiques des structures fibrées sphériques, written under the direction of Charles Ehresmann. Afterwards, he did some work in Paris with René Thom and discovered the Wu class and Wu formula in algebraic topology. In 1951 he was appointed a post at Peking University. However, Wu may have been among a wave of recalls of Chinese academics working in the West following Chiang Kai-shek's ouster from the mainland in 1949, according to eyewitness testimony by Marcel Berger, as he one day disappeared from France without saying a word to anyone.
Honors and awards
In 1957, he was elected as an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 1990, he was elected as an academician of the Third World Academy of Sciences.