Shing Tung Yau (丘成桐; Pinyin: Qīu Chéngtóng; born April 4, 1949) is a prominent mathematician working in differential geometry, and involved in the theory of Calabi-Yau manifolds.
He was born in Shantou, Guangdong Province, China with an ancestry in Jiaoling (also in Guangdong) in a family of seven children. His father died when he was 14. Yau moved to Hong Kong with his family and studied mathematics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1966 to 1969. He did his graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, where his advisor was S. S. Chern. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1971, he spent a post-doctoral year at the Institute for Advanced Study. He then spent two years as an assistant professor at Stony Brook University.
In 1974 he was appointed a professor at Stanford University. He returned to the Institute for Advanced Study as a professor in 1979. From 1984 to 1987 he was a professor at UC San Diego, where he also chaired the department of mathematics. In 1987 he moved to Harvard University, where he remains.
Yau has received a number of prominent awards. These include the Fields Medal in 1983, a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984, the Crafoord Prize in 1994, and the (U.S.) National Medal of Science in 1997.