David Yao received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto (1983), was Assistant Professor at Columbia University (1983-86), Associate Professor at Harvard University (1986-88), and since 1988 has been a full Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Columbia University, where he has held the Thomas Alva Edison Chair (1992-98), and since 2012 the inaugural Piyasombatkul Family Chair.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he has also been an IEEE Fellow, an INFORMS Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. His other honors and awards include: the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF); the Franz Edelman Award from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS); the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award from Columbia Engineering Alumni Association; the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates; the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, a Research Division Award, and several Invention Achievement Awards, all from IBM, as well as the IBM Faculty Award.
Professor Yao's teaching and research interests are in operations research, applied probability and stochastic models, focusing on the analysis, design and control of stochastic systems, such as health care systems, communication networks and supply chains, and related resource control and risk management issues. Author/co-author of over 200 refereed publications, three books and five edited volumes, he is a leading contributor to the theory and applications in his field, and has served on the editorial board of several leading journals, including Discrete Event Dynamic Systems, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Management Science, Operations Research, Operations Research Letters, Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences, Stochastic Systems and Queueing Systems. He has been listed in several major biographical references, including Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in American Education, and Who's Who in Business and Finance.
His professional society associations include IEEE, INFORMS and SIAM. He served as Chair (1992/93) of what is now the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS. He was Co-Chair of the Program and Organizing Committees of the 12th INFORMS Applied Probability Society Conference (Beijing, June 2004), and Program Chair of INFORMS International (Beijing, June 2012). He has served on the INFORMS John von Neumann Theory Prize Committee (2001-03), which he chaired in 2003; and on the INFORMS Lanchester Prize Committee (1992/93, 2011/12), which he chaired in 2012. He has also served on the OR-Grand Challenge Task Force (2012/13) sponsored by NSF, chairing its human-health subcommittee. Since 2016, he has been a member of the Board of Mathematical Sciences and Analytics of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Professor Yao is a founding member of Columbia's Center for Applied Probability (CAP), and serves on its Executive Committee. He is a founding co-director of Columbia's Center for the Management of Systemic Risk. He is also the founding chair of the Financial and Business Analytics Center, which is part of Columbia's Data Science Institute. He is the principal architect of several academic programs in the IEOR Dept, including the M.S. degree program in Financial Engineering. A principal investigator of over 30 grants and contracts from government agencies and industrial sources, he has done extensive research and consulting work in various aspects of semiconductor fabrication, inventory and distribution planning, scheduling and resource management in computer operating systems, internet traffic modeling, web-server performance optimization, supply chain management, and hospital resource planning. He is a holder of eight U.S. patents in manufacturing operations and supply chain logistics.
Honors and Awards
Other Professional Activities