He is the former director-general of the Institute of Mathematics, Academia Sinica, and the director of the Center of Applied Statistics, Nankai University (Tianjin). He is an academician of the Academia Sinica.
Chow was born in Zhouwan Village, Zhangnan County, Xiangfan, Hubei Province on Sep 1, 1924. He entered the (National) Hechuan No.2 Meddile School (合川国立二中). But because of the Japanese invasion, he left his hometown and finished his high school education in Chongqing - the capital of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He became a student of the Department of Mathematics, National Chekiang University (Zhejiang University) and he was a student of Su Buqing. About 1949, he went to Taiwan and taught Mathematics at the National Taiwan University in Taipei.
Jul, 1954, followed the advice from Chung Tao Yang, Chow went to USA. He entered the University of Illinois and studied under the guidance from Joseph Leo Doob. 1958, He received his PhD. He became a staff at the IBM Watson Research Laboratory, later at Columbia University till 1962. 1962 - 1968, He served for the Statistics Department, Purdue University. 1968 - 1993, he was the Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Columbia University. He was also a visiting professor at different universities including the University of California at Berkeley, the National Central University in Taiwan, the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Now he is Professor Emeritus, Columbia University.
- Fellow, Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1966 election) 
- Fellow, International Statistical Institute (1980 election)
- Academician, Academia Sinica (1974 election) 
Books by him
- Probability Theory: Independence, Interchangeability, Martingales, (with Henry Teicher), Springer Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-40607-7 
- The Theory of Optimal Stopping, with Herbert Robbins and David Siegmund, 1971 
- 周元燊 "1924年9月1日出生于南漳周湾村，1941年考取在合川的国立第二中学，二中毕业後，保送贵州的国立浙江大学数学系..."
- A Conversation with Yuan Shih Chow "Taiwan, he taught mathematics as an assistant at National Taiwan University until he came to the United States in 1954."
- 著名数学家——周元燊院士 "中央研究院院士（第十届 1974年）"
- "Y. S. Chow is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, a member of the International Statistical Institute and a member of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica." from 
- Amazon.com: Yuan Shih Chow: Books
- Amazon.com: The Theory of Optimal Stopping: Books: Yuan Shih Chow
- A Conversation with Yuan Shih Chow, abstract (English)
- A Conversation with Yuan Shih Chow pdf pdf version, full biography including photos, by Zhiliang Ying and Cun-Hui Zhang(English)
- Archive at Harvard University (English)
- Chow's biography from the website of East China Normal University(Chinese)
- Chow's résumé (Chinese)