Distinguished Alumni Awards

Andrew Chi-chih Yao

Andrew Chi-chih Yao
To Andrew Yao for his fundamental contributions to algorithmic design and computational complexity and an exemplary academic life.

William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Computer Science Department, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

  • B.S. 1967, Physics, National Taiwan University
  • A.M. 1969, Physics, Harvard University
  • Ph.D. 1972, Physics, Harvard University
  • Ph.D. 1975, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 Andrew Yao earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at UIUC in record time, only two years, after completing his Ph.D. in Physics at Harvard under 1979 Nobel Prize winner Sheldon Glashow. Throughout his subsequent career at MIT, Stanford, and Princeton, Professor Yao helped to shape the theory of computation. He has published on almost every aspect of computational complexity and many aspects of algorithmic design. His results and proof methods have typically caused a leap in the community’s understanding of some central issue, enabling rejuvenated research by others. He established new paradigms and effective techniques in many areas, including computational geometry, constant-depth Boolean circuit complexity, analysis of data structures, and quantum communication. He also initiated the field of communication complexity, which measures the minimum amount of interaction that two or more parties must have in order to jointly carry out some computation and essentially captured the essence of communication cost for distributed computation.

Professor Yao has received the field’s most prestigious honors, including the George Polya Prize in 1987 from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Donald E. Knuth Prize in 1996 from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the A. M. Turing Award in 2000, also from ACM and considered to be the Nobel Prize of computing. In addition, Professor Yao is a Fellow of the ACM, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of Academia Sinica, and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient.

Current as of 2004.