PhD candidate. UC berkeley
yifanwu@berkeley.edu Twitter_Logo_Blue
I explore different programming interfaces for data analysis.


Scalable Analysis Interfaces
Dealing with large scale data analysis involves efforts on multiple fronts: faster backend (the usual suspect), code & interface changes. This line of research focuses on the latter two.
Programming ⋈ Interaction for Analysis
Following the DIEL project, we discovered that queries and interactions have a very tight relationship, which allows us to explore a previously unknown aspect---mapping interactions back to code.


University of California, Berkeley 2015-present
PhD Candidate in Computer Science
Harvard College 2010-2014
AB in Computer Science (Economics minor)


Graduate Student Researcher 2014-present
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
Research Intern Summer, 2017
Microsoft Research Redmond, WA
Undergraduate Student Researcher 2013-2014
Harvard University Cambridge, MA


Mentoring undergrads for research projects2018-2019
DSIA reviewer2019
Managing Frontend State with Relational Transducers ForwardJS (slides) 2019
Mid PhD Reflection RISELab Seminar (slides)2019
Asynchronous and Concurrent Interactive Visualization RISE Lab Retreat (recording) 2017
Daghstul seminar: Connecting Visualization and Data Management Research Schloss Dagstuhl2017
Let's Talk About Front-End Consistency, StrangeLoop (recording) 2016
TA, CS186 (Introduction to Database Systems) UC Berkeley 2015
TA, CS20 (Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science) Harvard College 2014
Awarded Bok Center's Certificates of Excellence or Distinction in Teaching


I am planning to graduate in summer 2020 and am looking for a job! ✨

I am excited to continue exploring new tools for data analysts by codesigning DSLs and GUIs. I believe data analysis is a fundamental building block for other interfaces---such as machine learning tools, knowledge bases, and intelligent interfaces. I believe that in the earlier generation, most software is information software, but in the new generation, most software will be analysis software, where users can query and manipulate the underlying data with richer affordances. I want to work on software that respects and promotes the agency of users.

I hope to continue my career in an industrial research or startup setting. Through my time in the Ph.D. program, I have accumulated many new ideas that I'm excited to try out. I believe a development cycle integrated with feedback from real users can deliver both valuable research insight and real-world impact.


I grew up in China (Taiyuan, Beijing) and the UK (Nottingham). I love good books (a big Woolf fan), conversations, and activities that help me move with intention (like rock climbing). After a stint with soylent and "rationality", I now spent a lot of time cooking and being silly (or trying to).