Yao-Yuan Mao

NASA Einstein Fellow @ Rutgers
Yao-Yuan Mao | NASA Einstein Fellow @ Rutgers | yymao.github.io

About Yao-Yuan Mao

Here's my Curriculum Vitae.

I am an Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow of the NASA Hubble Fellowship Program, currently affiliated with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyNew Brunswick.

My research focuses on the connection between visible galaxies and dark matter halos, which is a critical component for fully utilizing astrophysical observations to study the nature of dark matter, cosmology, and galaxy formation physics.

I participate in several collaborative projects. I am one of the core members of the Satellites Around Galactic Analogs (SAGA) Survey. I also serve as one of the Dark Matter Working Group co-conveners and a Collaboration Council member in the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC).

I received my Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University in 2016. At Stanford, I was a Weiland Family Stanford Graduate Fellow and a Paul Giddings KIPAC Fellow. My thesis advisor was Risa Wechsler.

From 2016 to 2019, I was a Samuel P. Langley Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Pittsburgh Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology Center (PITT PACC) at the University of Pittsburgh.

I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. I received my B.S. in Physics from National Taiwan University in 2009.

I care about inclusion and equity, both in academia and more broadly. I am the current maintainer of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Outlist.

Read more about my research here or see a list of my publications here. I am also an avid programmer; see a list of software tools that I develop here.

Contact me

  • Email: yymao.astro@gmail.com
  • Rutgers Office: Room 313W, Physics & Astronomy Bld (New Brunswick Busch Campus)
  • Mailing address:
    Yao-Yuan Mao
    Department of Physics and Astronomy
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    136 Frelinghuysen Rd
    Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019, USA

My name

My name is 茅耀元 in Traditional Chinese; the first character is my last name Mao.

At work I usually go by just "Yao", and you can use they or he as my pronouns. Please note that Yuan is NOT my middle name. Yao-Yuan as a whole is my first name, with the hyphen indicating there are two characters/syllables. Hence, my name should be abbreviated as Y.‑Y. Mao.

How to pronounce my name?

  • Each character of my name is monosyllabic.
  • Yao starts as in yard and ends as in cow, with the falling (4th) tone.
  • Yuan starts with the ü sound, like über in German or lune in French (similar to few in English but with rounded lips), and it ends as in Ben, with the rising (2nd) tone.
  • Mao has the same vowels as in Yao, but with the rising (2nd) tone.
  • Listen to the pronunciation of my name with Google Translate.

A snapshot of myself

This snapshot of myself was captured in "Science Bytes Episode 5: Dark Matters" on PBS.

A photo of Yao-Yuan Mao, seen on PBS