Norman Yao

Miller Fellow


I am currently a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley where I work in the Condensed Matter Theory group and collaborate with a number of AMO experimentalists.

I was a graduate student in the group of Professor Mikhail D. Lukin at Harvard University, where my thesis centered upon questions at the interface of quantum optics, condensed matter theory, and quantum information science. My undergraduate years were also spent at Harvard, during which I was a member of Professor David A. Weitz’s group in experimental soft condensed matter physics; my work in the Weitzlab is summarized in my thesis, which was the recipient of the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize. My graduate years were supported by the Department of Energy and the NSF, while my undergraduate years were supported through the generous Mort Pye Scholarship.

Outside of research, I am an avid table tennis player and currently train at the Alameda Table Tennis Club. During graduate school, I coached the Harvard Table Tennis Team and competed with them for four years as an undergraduate, including winning the New England Division of the NCTTA in 2006 (during this season, I was one-half of the top ranked doubles pair with former Olympian Jeff Hsiang). 

I also enjoy occasional opportunities to judge at Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate tournaments. I previously coached the LD debate team of a local Cambridge high school (CRLS). As a former debater, I had varied success on the circuit and competed at the NFL National Championships (14th in 2004 and 9th in 2005), the NCFL Championships (Quarterfinals in 2004) and the Tournament of Champions (TOC).