- B.S., 1984, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley
- S.M., 1987, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Insitute of Technology
- Ph.D., 1990, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Insitute of Technology
- Electrical Engineering
- Computer Engineering and Architecture
- Circuits and VLSI
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Start-ups and Technology Transfer
Primary Teaching Area
Woodward Yang is the Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University. In 2008, he was also appointed the first HBS University Fellow at Harvard Business School.
Dr. Yang graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in EECS and from MIT with a PhD in EECS immediately prior to joining the faculty at Harvard University in 1990 where his research activities have focused on the design and implementation of integrated circuits and systems including DRAM, CMOS image sensors, mixed-signal circuitry, and high performance image processing systems. His technical expertise includes semiconductor device physics, material science, microelectronic fabrication technology, circuit design, computer architecture, signal processing systems, and algorithms. His innovative and pioneering research results were highly recognized through the prestigious National Science Foundation Young Investigator and Army Young Investigator awards and as IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Yang has also been deeply involved with the semiconductor and electronics industry throughout his career including the development and commercialization of two multi-billion dollar disruptive technologies, CMOS image sensors and pseudo-SRAM which are now widely used in almost every cell phone. In addition, Dr. Yang was the founder and CEO of a DRAM design company for over 8 years in Korea and Taiwan which designed and manufactured special purpose memory products for mobile computing and communications systems.
Dr. Yang's extensive experiences with business and industries lead to his broader interest in the economic and social impacts of science and technology. In 2005, Clayton Christensen and he organized a Leadership Forum at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences which included many of the leading companies in semiconductor and electronics industry including Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments, TSMC, NVidia, and Applied Materials. One of the key conclusions of the workshop was the early insight that there were diminishing economic benefits for many industry segments in following Moore's Law and the use of more advanced but significantly more expensive manufacturing technologies. Over the past 4 years, this fact has now become widely accepted in the industry.
His broad research interests at HBS are in exploring and understanding metrics and models of technologies, industries, economies, and business-government relationships that will aid in the realization of successful businesses and overall economic growth. While quantitative analytical approaches have been quite successful for developing an understanding of scientific and engineering problems, these same approaches have only met with limited success when applied to business, economic, and societal problems which exhibit significantly more complexity and unpredictability as a consequence of having many more unobservable and uncontrollable variables. In particular, he is interested in the unique challenges faced in trying to develop integrative business theories and practical models which can be used in realistic situations especially in light of the differences in cultures and governments in international settings such as the Far East.
In fall 2009, he taught a doctoral seminar course for both engineering and business students aimed at exploring the relationships between technology and industry evolution. In fall 2010, he will be co-teaching an EC course on Commercializing Science.
Positions & Employment
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
- Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- 2008: University Fellow