Tiancheng Yu (余天呈)

yutc [at] mit [dot] edu  

I am a 5th-year PhD student in MIT EECS, advised by Prof. Suvrit Sra. I got my Master degree in EECS at MIT in 2020. Before MIT, I was an undergraduate student in Tsinghua University, major in Electronic Engineering and minor in Statistics. I was fortunate to be advised by Prof. Yuan Shen.

In Fall 2019, I visited Princeton Univerisity and worked with Prof. Chi Jin. In Summer 2017, I was fortunate to join Stanford UGVR program and advised by Prof. Tsachy Weissman. In Fall 2016, I was an exchange student in University of Wisconsin, Madison and worked with Prof. Dimitris Papailiopoulos.

I'm interested in the theory of Reinforcement Learning (RL), especially sample efficiency, robustness and function approximation.

Selected Publications

*: equal contribution or alphabetical order.



  • I enjoy piano and vocal (Bel-Canto) performing in my spare time. I am fortunate to learn from the inspiring musicians Xiaopei Xu, Jen-tao Yu, Bingchuan Wan, Yongqian zhang (张永前) and Linbo Fu (付林波).
  • I used to do competitive bodybuilding and join the Varsity Team in Tsinghua in 2016. Later I gradually switch to powerlifting. I am fortunate to learn from the fantastic athletes and coaches Dan Green, Cheng Tang (唐诚) and Chenyu Mao (毛晨雨).
  • I became a big fan of Poker after taking the fantastic course 15.S50 Poker Theory and Analytics . Poker provides me with a lot of inspiration in studying sequential decision making problems! Personal best: 3-rd place (3/~150) in Harvard-MIT poker tournament main event, Spring 2020.
  • I have always been a hungary reader in literature, history and (social) science since childhood. I began to write about my PhD life in WeChat Blog "余在水 " since May 2020. The articals are based on my personal communication with my family. Check it out!
  • I translated the cute AI book "You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place " into Chinese:《你看起来好像……我爱你(AI的工作原理以及它为这个世界带来的稀奇古怪)》(Janelle Shane著, 中信出版集团). Check it out!