Professor Yao was born in Shanghai, China. He received a BS in Physics from Taiwan University in 1967, and a PhD in Physics from Harvard University in 1972. Fascinated by the intellectual challenges in the new field of Computer Science, he switched field and obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1975. His research interests include analysis of algorithms, computational complexity, cryptography and quantum computing. From 1975 to 1986, Professor Yao served on the faculty at MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. From 1986 to 2004, he was the William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University. In 2004, he left Princeton to become a Professor at Center for Advanced Study in Tsinghua Univeristy. He is also a Distinguished Professor-at-Large at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Professor Yao was recipient of the prestigious A.M. Turing Award in year 2000 for his contributions to the theory of computation, including communication complexity, pseudorandom number generation, and quantum communication. He has received numerous other honors and awards, including the George Polya Prize, the Donald E. Knuth Prize, and several honorary degrees. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"The Science Behind Information Technology"
Computers and internet, and more broadly information technology, have evolved to become essential in all types of work as well in people’s daily life. Behind all the amazing hardware for computing and communication is a modern information science, which helps us design algorithms for running these devices and often develops the key concepts necessary for an entirely new category of applications. In this talk we will give examples of seminal theoretical breakthroughs in information science with profound impact on technology innovation.
"Nurturing Talents in China: Some Experiences"
Abstract: A necessary ingredient for technology innovation is the successful development and maintenance of pools of talented scientists. To achieve this goal, modern universities play a vital role, both in training young talents and in providing nourishing environments for creative activities to prosper. In this talk we will examine the many facets of nurturing science talents, focusing particularly on China. The speaker has spent the last four years building education and research programs in China.