Byron Yu is a professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Yu received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 2003 and 2007, respectively, from Stanford University. From 2007 to 2009, he was a postdoctoral fellow jointly in Electrical Engineering and Neuroscience at Stanford University and at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London.

Yu joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, where he is an associate professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and the Gerard G. Elia Career Development Professor. He is broadly interested in how large populations of neurons process information, from encoding sensory stimuli to driving motor actions. His group develops and applies novel statistical algorithms and uses brain-computer interfaces to study brain function.

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Byron Yu
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Brain Computer Interfaces Helping People with Disabilities


2007 Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

2003 MS, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

2001 BS, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley

Media mentions


Three-million dollar grant to fund study of internal states in the brain

Steve Chase, Matt Smith, and Byron Yu were recently awarded a $3 million grant from the NSF to support research investigating internal states in the brain, including motivation, attention, and arousal, using brain-computer interfaces.

CMU Engineering

Take two: Integrating neuronal perspectives for richer results

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have identified a way to bridge two neuronal approaches traditionally used in isolation, resulting in a richer understanding of neuronal activity.


Yu quoted on brain-computer interfaces

BME/ECE’s Byron Yu was quoted on Axios about his brain-computer interface research.

CMU Engineering

Connecting the dots between engagement and learning

New research from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh examines how changes in internal states, such as engagement, can affect the learning process using BCI technology.

American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

Engineering faculty named AIMBE Fellows

BME’s Adam Feinberg, ChemE’s Kathryn Whitehead, BME’s Byron Yu, and BME Associate Department Head Conrad Zapanta have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows.

CMU Engineering

NIH-funded project will get your attention

Matt Smith and Byron Yu will simultaneously record multiple regions of the brain as subjects go through the process of preparing, establishing, and maintaining attention.

CMU Engineering

How the brain’s internal states affect decision-making

By recording the activity of separate populations of neurons simultaneously, researchers have gained an unprecedented insight into how the “waxing and waning” of our mental state influences the decisions we make.

CMU Engineering

Stabilizing brain-computer interfaces

New research will drastically improve brain-computer interfaces and their ability to remain stabilized, greatly reducing the need to recalibrate these devices during or between experiments.

CMU Engineering

Brain changes when mastering new skills

Mastering a new skill—whether a sport, an instrument, or a craft—takes time and training. While it is understood that a healthy brain is capable of learning these new skills, how the brain changes in order to develop new behaviors is a relative mystery.


CMU researchers read data from brains to help people learn

A group of CMU engineering researchers is working on connecting with brains to help people learn faster. They read data from volunteers’ brains as they learn to control a computer cursor with their minds.

CMU Engineering

Information bottlenecks between brain areas

Byron Yu and João Semedo found that communication between brain areas occurs through an information bottleneck, which they’ve termed a “communication subspace.”

Quanta Magazine

Yu and Chase quoted in Quanta on roadblocks to learning

Byron Yu and Steve Chase were quoted in Quanta Magazine about their research on how the brain reused old neural patterns when learning new tasks.