Frances Yao

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Frances Yao
SpouseAndrew Yao
Academic background
Alma materNational Taiwan University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisorMichael J. Fischer
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Brown University,
Stanford University,
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center,
City University of Hong Kong,
Tsinghua University

Frances Foong Chu Yao (Chinese: 儲楓; pinyin: Chǔ Fēng) is a Taiwanese-American mathematician and theoretical computer scientist. She is currently a Chair Professor at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS) of Tsinghua University. She was Chair Professor and Head of the Department of computer science at the City University of Hong Kong, where she is now an honorary professor.[1]


After receiving a B.S. in mathematics from National Taiwan University in 1969, Yao did her Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Michael J. Fischer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving her Ph.D. in 1973. She then held positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brown University, and Stanford University, before joining the staff at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 1979 where she stayed until her retirement in 1999.

In 2003, she came out of retirement to become the Head and a Chair Professor of the Department of Computer Science at City University of Hong Kong, which she held until June 2011. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; in 1991, she and Ronald Graham won the Lester R. Ford Award of the Mathematical Association of America for their expository article, A Whirlwind Tour of Computational Geometry.[2]

Yao's husband, Andrew Yao, is also a well-known theoretical computer scientist and Turing Award winner.[3][4][5][6][7]

Much of Yao's research has been in the subject of computational geometry and combinatorial algorithms; she is known for her work with Mike Paterson on binary space partitioning,[8] her work with Dan Greene on finite-resolution computational geometry,[9] and her work with Alan Demers and Scott Shenker on scheduling algorithms for energy-efficient power management.[10]

More recently she has been working in cryptography. Along with her husband Andrew Yao and Wang Xiaoyun, they found new attacks on the SHA-1 cryptographic hash function.[11][12]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Honorary Professors, Department of Computer Science, City University Archived 2018-08-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Graham & Yao (1990).
  3. ^ Profile from Yao's web page at City University Archived February 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ F. Frances (Foong) Yao at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  5. ^ Stanford Computer Science Historical Faculty List Archived 2021-01-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Lester R. Ford Award winners, MAA.
  7. ^ "Andy Yao wins Turing award" (PDF), Department of Computer Science Alumni News, 2 (6), Summer 2001, archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-18, retrieved 2008-11-28.
  8. ^ Paterson & Yao (1990).
  9. ^ Greene & Yao (1986).
  10. ^ Yao, Demers & Shenker (1995).
  11. ^ Leyden, John (August 19, 2005), "SHA-1 compromised further: Crypto researchers point the way to feasible attack", The Register.
  12. ^ Biever, Celeste (December 17, 2005), "Busted! The gold standard in digital security lies in tatters", New Scientist.

External links[edit]