Li Fan (engineer)

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Li Fan
Alma materFudan University
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Li Fan is a computer scientist and the Head of Engineering at Lime. She has previously held positions at Pinterest, Google and Baidu. She is an expert on visual computation.

Early life[edit]

Fan was interested in painting as a child but was encouraged to focused on academia.[1] She studied computer science and Fudan University.[2] She earned her bachelor's degree in 1996, when she moved to University of Wisconsin–Madison for her graduate studies. Here she developed techniques for scalable web caching.[3][4] She studied the potential of web prefetching between low-bandwidth clients and proxies.[5]


Fan joined Cisco Systems as a software engineer.[6] She joined Google in 2002.[6] At Google she worked at google+, managing the infrastructure of ad spam and page ranking.[7] In 2012 she was appointed Vice President of engineering at Baidu.[6][8] At Baidu, Fan launched the cross-function data processing group.[7] Fan was responsible for product design at China's largest search engine and led 1,000 people.[9][10] She worked on big data analytics.[11] In 2014 she returned to Google and became Head of Image Search.[12][13]

In 2016 Fan joined Pinterest as Head of Engineering.[14][15][16] She built an artificial intelligence team to work on visual machine perception.[6] She led a team of 400 engineers and developed their discovery engine.[17][18]

Fan joined the scooter company LimeBike in 2018.[19][20][21] She was named as one of the most important engineers in the world by Business Insider and one of the most creative people by Fast Company.[1][10]



  1. ^ a b "The 39 most powerful female engineers of 2018". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ Chang, Angie (2018-02-06). "21 Female Engineers & Executives Who May Become The Next FORTUNE 100 CTO!". Medium. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. ^ Fan, Li; Cao, Pei; Almeida, Jussara; Broder, Andrei Z. (1998-10-01). "Summary cache". ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review. 28 (4): 254–265. doi:10.1145/285243.285287. ISSN 0146-4833.
  4. ^ Scott, Breslau, Lee Cao, Pei Fan, Li Phillips, Graham Shenker, (2012-03-15). On the Implications of Zipf's Law for Web Caching. University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Computer Sciences. OCLC 799906385.
  5. ^ Fan, Li; Cao, Pei; Lin, Wei; Jacobson, Quinn (1999-06-01). "Web prefetching between low-bandwidth clients and proxies". ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review. 27 (1): 178–187. doi:10.1145/301464.301557. ISSN 0163-5999.
  6. ^ a b c d "". Retrieved 2018-09-13. External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ a b "Pinterest Appoints Li Fan of Google as Head of Engineering". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  8. ^ Y, Ku Samuel C.; Kristina, Kironska (2016-10-07). Migration In East And Southeast Asia. World Scientific. ISBN 9789813141681.
  9. ^ Fan, Li. "Merging human and machine learning for everyday solutions - Strata Data Conference in San Jose 2018". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  10. ^ a b "Li Fan, Most Creative People 2018 | Fast Company". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  11. ^ Stanford Graduate School of Business (2014-02-21), Big Data Analytics Can Improve Businesses and Lives | Li Fan of Baidu, retrieved 2018-09-13
  12. ^ "Google Head of Image Search Li Fan Joins Pinterest as Head of Engineering". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  13. ^ Chan, Vivian (2018-04-17). "Women in Leadership at Google, Pinterest, and Facebook Share Their Secrets to Success". Medium. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  14. ^ "Pinterest puts former Google exec in charge of ranking its 75 billion Pins". Digital Trends. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  15. ^ "Pinterest hires Google's former head of image search to lead engineering". VentureBeat. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  16. ^ "Pinterest brings on a new head of engineering who specializes in image search". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  17. ^ "Li Fan - O'Reilly Media". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  18. ^ Fan, Li (2018-03-07). "Merging human and machine learning for everyday solutions". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-09-13. External link in |title= (help)
  20. ^ Castillo, Michelle (2018-07-24). "Pinterest's head of engineering leaves for scooter company Lime". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  21. ^ "Lime poaches Pinterest exec | PitchBook". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  22. ^ "Li Fan". Forbes.