Penn State Graduate School alumna recognized for early career achievements

March 23, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Graduate School alumna Yiling Chen received the Graduate School Alumni Society (GSAS) Early Career Award on March 19 at the annual GSAS recognition dinner. This award was established to recognize alumni who have demonstrated exceptional success in their chosen field within the first 10 years after obtaining their graduate degree. 

Chen received her doctoral degree in information sciences and technology at Penn State in 2005. She was a postdoctoral research scientist at Yahoo! research from 2006 to 2008. Chen joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor of computer science in 2008. She was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and full professor, with tenure, in 2015. Her rapid career ascent is a testament to exceptional performance and contributions in the areas of teaching, research and service.

The Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Chen notes that her current research—“situated at the interface between computer science and economics—lies in the emerging area of social computing, where human creativity and resources are harnessed for the purpose of computational tasks.”

Chen’s research interests include analyzing and designing social computing systems according to both computational and economic objectives. She has also stated her interest in prediction markets and other information elicitation and aggregation mechanisms, algorithmic game theory, behavioral experiments, mechanism design and multi-agent systems.

Chen has been honored numerous times for outstanding performance in research. Her professional honors include the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award and selection to the 2011 “Artificial Intelligence 10 to Watch” list by IEEE Intelligent Systems.

One nominator wrote, “I am impressed with Chen’s solid mathematical and modelling skills, and her fundamental knowledge of economics, behavioral sciences, social science and information science. These abilities and knowledge are especially critical for interdisciplinary research. In addition, Chen has the wonderful ability to explain difficult problems and concepts with simple and easy to understand analogies…I appreciate Chen’s capacity to pass on knowledge and methods to others. One of the key tasks of scholars today is to educate students with the most advanced scholarly and scientific knowledge. Chen does this exceedingly well.”

Last Updated March 23, 2016