Portrait of Francis Y. Yan

Francis Y. Yan

Senior Researcher


Francis Y. Yan is a Senior Researcher in the Mobility and Networking Research Group at Microsoft Research Redmond and the Office of the CTO, Azure for Operators. His research focuses on practical machine learning (ML) for networking, seeking to create ML algorithms that are deployable on real-world networked systems and build platforms for training and evaluating novel algorithms. His research interests also span video streaming/conferencing/analytics, transport and congestion-control protocols, and other network systems and applications.

Dr. Yan completed his Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University, advised by Keith Winstein and Philip Levis. His dissertation was on the development of platforms and algorithms to achieve practical reinforcement learning (RL) on the Internet, in the context of video streaming and congestion control. He has received the Applied Networking Research Prize, the USENIX NSDI Community Award, and the USENIX ATC Best Paper Award. Dr. Yan is the creator of Puffer, a live-streaming site that has reached 150,000 real users (as of June 2021).

Before his Ph.D., Dr. Yan graduated from Tsinghua University, where he received a B.S. in computer science from Yao Class (founded by Turing Award laureate Andrew Yao) and a B.A. in economics. He also studied at MIT in 2014. For more information, please visit his personal page.