Institute for Theoretical computer Science

The Institute for Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS) is headed by Professor Andrew Chi-Chih Yao at Tsinghua University, mainly engaged in the research and education of computer science. Its mission is to nurture and develop the talents of students and researchers as well as to develop knowledge for the advancement of computer science and thus to make contributions to constructing world-class universities in China. It also aims to become one of the leading research centers on theoretical computer science in the world and to build up a super road for the research and education of computer science in China.

The founding and development of ITCS enables China’s theoretical computer science disciplinary to experience a qualitative change, starting from the fundamentals, and attracting more and more young talents to devote to this field. ITCS has been enjoying full support from China’s state leaders and Tsinghua University. Prof. Yao has been visited by state leaders many times, including Premier WEN Jiabao, who attached great importance to and have high expectation on ITCS’ development.

In 2009, Professor Yao unveiled the ambitious “China Computer Science 2020 Plan”, which proposes that ITCS, with the concerted efforts of scholars from around the world, would be developed into a world-class computer science institute by the year 2020. This strategic development objective is highly acknowledged and strongly supported by China’s state leaders and is now under implementation. According to the Plan, the size of ITCS faculty would increase to 30 in the 2010-2015 period and 60 in the 2015-2020 period and the number of PhD students would reach up to 120 and 240 respectively. The research fields would expand to five areas such as Theory, Security and Cryptography, Networks, Computational Biology and Machine Learning.

Since he left Princeton to become a Professor at Tsinghua University in 2004, Prof. Yao has been leading ITCS in its efforts to nurture the talents of students and researchers as well as to create knowledge for the advancement of computer science. Theoretical computer science is largely an abstract mathematical discipline that seeks to better understand the nature of computation. As an essential part of the discipline of computer science in world-leading universities, it provides theoretical basics for the development of computer science and technology. Therefore, we have witnessed impressive research results on interdisciplinary information sciences. Led by Prof. Yao, ITCS is building up an international faculty team, which has played an important role in teaching, research, talent recruitment and academic exchanges.

In the International Academic Review on Computer Science and Technology of Tsinghua University in August 2010, the committee has been impressed by the creation and progress of the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science under the leadership of Prof. Andrew Yao. They have been pleased to see the high level international academic activities developing around ITCS, which include the visits by a series of world-class experts in computer science, the student intern programs, and the establishment of collaborative programs with world leading institutions. ITCS has already had considerable positive impact on Tsinghua’s computer science program as part of its endeavor to become a world-class program.

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