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Dr. Yao is a theoretical and computational physicist, developing methods, algorithms, and codes to address condensed matter physics and materials science problems. With a degree of B.S. in department of intensive instruction in 2000 and M.S. in physics in 2003 from Nanjing University, China, he obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Iowa State University in 2009. After graduation, he took a postdoc position in Ames Laboratory. He was promoted to assistant scientist in 2011, associate scientist in 2015, and senior theoretical physicist in 2019, with an adjunct faculty position in department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University. He is currently leading projects in the development of quantum computing approaches to solve ground state and dynamical properties of correlated quantum materials within the Gutzwiller quantum-classical embedding framework. He is also a key developer of the Gutzwiller density functional theory and rotationally-invariant Slave-Boson method and software.
- Basic science: seeks to understand how nature works. This research includes experimental and theoretical work in materials science, physics, chemistry, biology, high-energy physics, and mathematics and computer science, including high performance computing.
- Applied science and engineering helps to find practical solutions to society’s problems. These programs focus primarily on energy resources, environmental management and national security.