Yiran Chen

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Yiran Chen received his B.S. in 1998 and M.S. in 2001 from Tsinghua University, and his Ph.D. in 2005 from Purdue University. In 2010, he joined the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2014, while holding the Bicentennial Alumni Faculty Fellowship. He is currently the John Cocke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. He is the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) AI Institute for Edge Computing Leveraging Next-generation Networks (Athena), one of the 25 National AI Institutes in the United States, as well as the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for Alternative Sustainable and Intelligent Computing (ASIC), and co-director of the Duke Center for Computational Evolutionary Intelligence (DCEI). His group's research focuses on new memory and storage systems, machine learning and neuromorphic computing systems, and mobile computing. He has supervised, or is currently supervising, more than 60 Ph.D. students and 4 PostDocs throughout his academic career. Twelve of his Ph.D. students have joined faculties at universities in the United States, Turkey, Hong Kong, and China, including four NSF CAREER Awardees.

Chen has published one book, more than 600 technical publications, and has been granted 96 US patents. He has been honored with 15 paper awards, including two test-of-time awards, as well as 15 best paper nominations from international journals and conferences. He has received numerous awards for his technical contributions and professional services and is one of only three individuals to have received Technical Achievement Awards from both the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society and the Computer Society, with histories of 75 and 78 years, respectively. He has been a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA) and Circuits and Systems Society (CASS), a distinguished visitor of the IEEE Computer Society (CS). He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and NAI, and currently serves as the chair of ACM SIGDA. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Magazine from 2020 to 2023 and is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Artificial Intelligence (TCASAI).

Chen has served as Chairman of the Board, Independent Director, and in other consultancy roles for several startups. Beyond his academic and professional pursuits, Chen is a fervent advocate for the responsible use of AI technologies and champions academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality. He is a founding member of the steering committee of the Academic Alliance on AI Policy (AAAIP) and a member of the Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF).

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Purdue University, 2005

Research Interests

Emerging memory and storage technologies

Embedded systems, CPS, edge computing, and mobile applications

Neuromorphic computing, deep learning and system security

Low power circuit and system