Yan Liu Yan Liu, Ph.D. (academically, a.k.a. Yan Y. Liu)

Senior Research Programmer
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Curriculum Vitae
E-Mail: yanliu AT illinois.edu
Phone: 217-300-6602


I joined the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) as Research Staff in March, 2019.

Yan Liu is Senior Research Programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He obtained his Ph.D. in Informatics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.CS from the University of Iowa, and B.S. and M.E. from Wuhan University, China.

Yan's primary interest is in the development of high-performance and scalable algorithms and software, with a particular interest in high-performance heuristic algorithms. He has designed scalable approaches for large-scale geospatial optimization problems, harnessing massive supercomputing resources on cyberinfrastructure. He was a lead developer of GISolve middleware -- a leading GIS solution on cyberinfrastructure (July 2007 to September 2010) and the project manager of the NSF CyberGIS project (October 2010 to April 2012). He led the technical program at the CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Lab (CIGI) from 2007 to 2014 and at the CyberGIS Center from 2014 to 2018, and led software architecting and development of CyberGIS core capabilities and funded projects. He was also a staff scientist in XSEDE (the successor of TeraGrid) to provide advanced cyberinfrastructure consulting for domain-specific scientific computing, performance profiling and optimization, and science gateways.

Working with hydrologists, he developed a scalable computational solution to continental flood inundation mapping (CFIM) in the NSF National Flood Interoperability Experiment project. This high-performance CFIM framework produces a high-resolution hydrologic terrain for the conterminous U.S. and was used in August 2017 for Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery in the State of Texas. He is lead developer of a high-performance political redistricting software, which scales up to 131,072 processor cores on Blue Waters, the most powerful supercomputer in academic computing (as of May 2017), to provide a supercomputing solution to the study of gerrymandering problems.

He is currently working on the High-performance Computational Solutions to Redistricting project funded by NSF, tackling geospatial, computational, optimization, and statistical challenges in large-scacle spatial optimization and sampling applications.

Yan enjoys athletic pursuits. He goes to gym to keep his work and life in balance. He is a regular fixture at Soccer Planet’s indoor leagues and enjoyed playing basketball with the Kenney Gym Recreation Club. When he has vacation time, he likes to travel to national and state parks.


Publication Listing on ORCID
Publication List on Google Scholar

Contact Information

National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
3102D NCSA Building, MC-257
1205 W. Clark St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Office: 217-300-6602 Fax: 217-244-2909