Yan Liu

Technical Coordinator

Email yanliu@uiuc.edu or yanliu@illinois.edu
Personal note: UIUC is my preferred name for the university. Frankly, outside of Illinois, how many people can spell 'illinois' correctly? 8-o . Meanwhile, UIUC, pronounced in Chinese, is a really good name (又爱又喜)

Personal Webpage


Yan Liu (academically, a.k.a. Yan Y. Liu) is Senior Research Programmer at the CyberGIS Center for Advance Digital and Spatial Studies and National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He obtained his B.S. and M.E. from Wuhan University, China, and M.CS from the University of Iowa. 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 the technical coordinator for the GISolve middleware project – a leading GIS solution on cyberinfrastructure (July 2007 to September 2010), project manager of the NSF CyberGIS project (October 2010 to April 2012), and is now leading an initiative to develop extreme scale geospatial codes. For example, in the National Flood Interoperability Experiment project, his work, in conjunction with hydrologists, led to a continental-scale flood inundation mapping framework (CFIM) that produces 10m or finer resolution inundation maps at the conterminous U.S. (CONUS) scale. As the lead of the technical program at the CyberGIS Center, he is responsible for the software architecting and development for CyberGIS core capabilities and funded projects. In the broader scientific computing community, he is an XSEDE (the successor of TeraGrid) staff scientist for scientific computing, science gateway research, and EOT. He is the author of a high-performance political redistricting software, which scales up to 131,072 processor cores on Blue Waters, the fastest supercomputer in the world on a university campus, to provide a supercomputing solution to partisan gerrymandering.

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.


Contact Information

CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory (CIGI)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
269 Computing Applications Building
605 East Springfield Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
Office: 217-300-6602 Fax: 217-244-1785

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