Associate Professor of Mathematics
Extremal, probabilistic, and additive combinatorics
Yufei Zhao joined the mathematics faculty as Assistant Professor in July 2017. Yufei received his dual SB degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT in 2010, an MASt in Mathematics from Cambridge in 2011, and a PhD from MIT in 2015, under the supervision of Jacob Fox. Prior to returning to MIT, Yufei was the Esmée Fairbairn Junior Research Fellow in Mathematics at New College, Oxford, as well as a Research Fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley.
Zhao's main research area is combinatorics. He is interested in extremal, probabilistic, and additive problems in combinatorics, as well as connections to other areas of mathematics and theoretical computer science. He has been developing tools that connect graph theory with additive combinatorics.
Zhao has received the SIAM Dénes Kőnig prize (2018), the MIT Future of Science Award by the School of Science (2018), the Class of 1956 Career Development Professorship (2018–2021), the Sloan Research Fellowship (2019), the NSF CAREER Award (2021), and the Edmund F. Kelly Research Award (2021).
Zhao runs the Putnam Seminar and oversees MIT's participation in the Putnam Competition. For his Putnam Seminar, Zhao received the First-Year Seminar Award (2019) by the MIT Office of Vice Chancellor. (Previously, as an undergraduate student at MIT, Zhao was a three-time Putnam Fellow.) In 2020, Zhao received the Outstanding UROP Mentor Award from MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.