Woodward Yang

Woodward Yang

  • Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


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 was also the founder and CEO of a DRAM design company for many years in Korea and Taiwan which designed and manufactured special purpose memory products. Throughout his career, Dr. Yang has been deeply involved with the semiconductor and electronics industry and is widely recognized for his work on the development and successful commercialization of two disruptive technologies, CMOS image sensors and pseudo-SRAM which are now found in almost every cell phone and other mobile devices. 

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 decade, this fact has become widely accepted in the industry. 

His broad research interests 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. 

Dr. Yang is the co-director and one of the founding faculty of Harvard's new Masters in Design Engineering (MDE) which is offered collaboratively by SEAS and Harvard Graduate School of Design.  This new 2 year, post-graduate professional degree program was created to educate students on comprehensive frameworks and strategies for creating, evaluating, and harnessing innovative ideas and for solving real-world problems with highly dynamic and complex global interconnections.  


Contact Information

Nickname: Woody
Office:325 Maxwell Dworkin
Office Phone:(617) 495-3987
Office Fax(617) 495-9837
Assistant:Joanne M. Bourgeois
Assistant Office:Pierce Hall 318
Assistant Phone:617/495-2719
Research Mgr: Rady M. Rogers

Primary Teaching Area

Positions & Employment

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

  • Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Harvard Business School
  • 2008: University Fellow