Portrait of Francis Y. Yan

Francis Y. Yan

Senior Researcher


Francis Y. Yan is a networking researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond and the Office of the CTO, Azure for Operators. His research interests span:

  • practical reinforcement learning (RL) for networking
  • video systems (streaming, conferencing, etc.)
  • transport and application layers

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 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 more than 200,000 real users.

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.