Professor Andrew Chi-chih Yao

Professor Andrew Chi-chih Yao was born in Shanghai, China and grew up in Taiwan. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physics in 1967 from National Taiwan University, a doctorate degree in Physics from Harvard University in 1972, and another one in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1975. From 1975 onward, Professor Yao served on the faculty at MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley and, during 1986 – 2004, at Princeton University as William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. In 2004, he left Princeton to join Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is currently the Dean of IIIS (Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences) at Tsinghua. He is also a Distinguished Professor-at-Large at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

At Tsinghua University, Professor Yao founded IIIS and built it into a world-renowned interdisciplinary research center, including a cutting-edge quantum computing laboratory. The elite undergraduate programme started by Professor Yao in 2005 (fondly nicknamed the “Yao Class” by students) has produced outstanding graduates in computer science, eagerly sought after by first-rate graduate schools everywhere.

Professor Yao’s research interests are in the theory of computation and its applications, including cryptography, communication and quantum computing. He is recipient of the prestigious A.M. Turing Award in year 2000 for his groundbreaking contributions to the theory of computation. He has also received numerous other honours and awards, including the George Polya Prize (1987), the Donald E. Knuth Prize (1996), and honorary degrees from the City University of Hong Kong (2003), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2004), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2006), the University of Waterloo (2009), the University of Macau (2012), and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2014). He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.