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Andrew Chi-Chih Yao
Born (1946-12-24) December 24, 1946 (age 77)
Alma materNational Taiwan University (BS)
Harvard University (MA, PhD)
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (PhD)
Known forYao's Principle
SpouseFrances Yao
AwardsPólya Prize (SIAM) (1987)
Knuth Prize (1996)
Turing Award (2000)
Kyoto Prize (2021)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
InstitutionsStanford University
University of California, Berkeley
Princeton University
Tsinghua University
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chinese name

Andrew Chi-Chih Yao (Chinese: 姚期智; pinyin: Yáo Qīzhì; born December 24, 1946) is a Chinese computer scientist and computational theorist. He is currently a professor and the dean of Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS) at Tsinghua University. Yao used the minimax theorem to prove what is now known as Yao's Principle.

Yao was a naturalized U.S. citizen, and worked for many years in the U.S. In 2015, together with Yang Chen-Ning, he renounced his U.S. citizenship and became an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.[1][2][3][4]

Early life and education

Yao was born in Shanghai, China. He completed his undergraduate education in physics at the National Taiwan University, before completing a Doctor of Philosophy in physics at Harvard University in 1972, and then a second PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1975.

Academic career

Yao was an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975–1976), assistant professor at Stanford University (1976–1981), and professor at the University of California, Berkeley (1981–1982).[5] From 1982 to 1986, he was a full professor at Stanford University.[6] From 1986 to 2004, Yao was the William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University,[7] where he continued to work on algorithms and complexity. In 2004, Yao became a professor of the Center for Advanced Study, Tsinghua University (CASTU) and the director of the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS), Tsinghua University in Beijing. Since 2010, he has served as the Dean of Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS) in Tsinghua University. In 2010, he initiated the Conference on Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS). Yao is also the Distinguished Professor-at-Large in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.[8]


In 1996, Yao was awarded the Knuth Prize. Yao also received the Turing Award in 2000, one of the most prestigious awards in computer science, "in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the theory of computation, including the complexity-based theory of pseudorandom number generation, cryptography, and communication complexity".[5] In 2021, Yao received the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology.[9]

Yao is a member of U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery,[10] and an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences. His wife, Frances Yao, is also a theoretical computer scientist.

See also


  1. ^ "Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039G". Federal Register. 2015-10-27. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  2. ^ "杨振宁、姚期智正式转为中国科学院院士". Xinhua News.
  3. ^ "Scientists drop U.S. citizenship", Science, 355 (6328): 891, March 3, 2017, doi:10.1126/science.355.6328.890, PMID 28254889
  4. ^ McLaughlin, Kathleen (24 February 2017). "Two top Chinese-American scientists have dropped their U.S. citizenship". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aal0823. CAS released a statement confirming the news but offered no further explanation as to why the two had given up their U.S. citizenship.
  5. ^ a b "Andrew C Yao – A.M. Turing Award Winner". Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  6. ^ "YaoTree". Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  7. ^ "Andrew Yao". Archived from the original on 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  8. ^ "ITCSC People". Archived from the original on 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  9. ^ Kyoto Prize 2021
  10. ^ "ACM Fellows–1995". Retrieved 10 March 2015.