Yunyao Li is a Master Inventor, Research Staff Member and Research Manager with IBM Almaden Research Center, where she manages the Scalable Natural Language Processing group. She is also a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Her expertise is in the interdisciplinary areas of databases, natural language processing, human-computer interaction, and information retrieval. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed, refereed articles, and filed nearly 20 patents in these areas.
Yunyao is particularly interested in designing, developing, and analyzing large scale systems that are usable by a wide spectrum of users. Towards this direction, her current focus is on text analytics. She is a founding member of SystemT, a state-of-the-art information extraction engine currently powering multiple IBM products, and Gumshoe, a novel enterprise search engine that has been powering IBM intranet and ibm.com search since 2010. Her contributions in these projects have recognized by multiple prestigious IBM internal awards.
Yunyao is also deeply passionate about improving the diversity of the STEM field. She has been actively mentoring women and under-represented minorities through programs such as Leading to Africa. She also organizes technical talks and activities for Women's Network of Northern California in IBM. She has served on the MentorNet Mentor-Protégé Council since 2013 and the BSCS External Advisory Board of San Jose State University since 2017.
Yunyao obtained her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science & Engineering and dual-degrees of M.S.E in Computer Science & Engineering and M.S in Information from the University of Michigan. She went to college at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and graduated with dual-degrees of B.E in Automation and B.S in Economics.