Wang, Yi-Min

2014 Distinguished Alumni Award

For contributions to dependable computing and web security, and leadership in industrial research.

Yi-Min Wang

Yi-Min Wang

MSEE '90, PhD '93

Microsoft Research Technologies

Redmond, Washington

Yi-Min Wang is managing director of Microsoft Research Technologies, with the main mission of turning worldclass research into world-changing innovations. Examples include the Skype Translator for real-time speech-to-speech translation, Project Adam for large-scale, brain-like deep learning, Catapult hardware specialization, Blackbird shapewriting technology that broke the Guinness World Records on texting, and Flat Datacenter Storage technology that broke the MinuteSort records.

Before taking on the responsibility of managing basic and applied research, Yi-Min was a researcher in the areas of search engine quality, dependable computing, and web security. He was elected IEEE Fellow for his contributions in those areas. In 2005, he invented Strider HoneyMonkey — the first automated system to patrol the Web and hunt for malicious websites that exploit zero-day vulnerabilities. The HoneyMonkey technique has become the de facto standard for both the security industry and the search engine industry. In 2007, he invented Strider Search Ranger – the first searchspam detection system based on dynamic crawling and traffic analysis. The work was featured in The New York Times and has had an industry-wide impact on wiping out search-spam.

Yi-Min earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University in 1986, along with his Illinois degrees. Yi-Min’s wife, Pi-Yu Chung, is an ECE alumna (PhD ’93). Their sons, Jeffrey and Andrew, were both born during their graduate study years. Urbana-Champaign has always been a very special place for the entire family.