Wotao Yin is selected as the winner of the 2021 INFORMS Optimization Society Egon Balas Prize

Wotao Yin earned his Ph.D. degree in operations research from Columbia University in 2006. Before joining Alibaba US in 2019, he was an Applied Math Professor in the Department of Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles. During 2006–2013, he was with the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University. Dr. Yin won the NSF CAREER award in 2008, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2009, a Morningside Gold Medal in 2016, and a Damo Award in 2021.

Wotao Yin’s work covers topics ranging from hard theoretical analysis to practical algorithms and code development. He is one of the world’s most influential researchers in the field of operator splitting methods, parallel and distributed computing, decentralized optimization, compressed sensing, and variational image processing. These are fast-growing fields that are particularly important in machine learning and data science.

Wotao Yin’s contributions to those fields and in particular to imaging science have injected the much needed rigor on the development of efficient optimization methods, which has generated a lasting influence over the last 15 years or so.

Prize committee

Andrea Lodi (chair), Sam Burer, Santanu S. Dey, Daniel Kuhn