Jia Yu is an Assistant Professor at Washington State University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University in Summer 2020 under the guidance of Mohamed Sarwat. His research focuses on large-scale database systems and geospatial data management. In particular, he worked on distributed geospatial data management systems, database indexing, and geospatial data visualization. Jia’s research outcomes have appeared in the most prestigious database / GIS conferences and journals, including SIGMOD, VLDB, ICDE, SSTD and VLDB Journal. He is the main contributor of several open-sourced research projects such as Apache Sedona (incubating), a cluster computing framework for processing big spatial data, which receives 200,000 downloads per month and has users / contributors from major companies (e.g., Facebook, Uber, AT&T, and MoBike).

Here is a one-page summary of my research.

I am actively looking for Computer Science PhD students to join my lab. Financial support is available. Please read this page.


  • 02/06/2021: Apache Sedona 1.0.0-incubating is released
  • 01/18/2021: Welcome a new PhD student to my lab: Congying Wang. She obtained her bachelor and master in Computer Science from University at Buffalo.
  • 12/13/2020: Invited to be a Program Committee member of VLDB (Very Large Data Bases) 2021 Demo Track.
  • 11/30/2020: Invited to be a Program Committee member of SSTD (Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases) 2021.
  • 09/21/2020: A journal paper about scalable geospatial data visualization has been accepted to VLDB Journal
  • 07/06/2020: Our ALEX index, an updatable adaptive learned index, is now open-source on GitHub: Microsoft ALEX. Our implementation is a near drop-in replacement for std::map or std::multimap.


  • Database systems
  • Distributed data systems
  • Geospatial data management


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2020

    Arizona State University

  • BEng in Software Engineering, Outstanding Graduate, 2013

    Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, China (西北农林科技大学)