Jia Yu is a co-founder of Wherobots Inc., a venture-backed company for helping businesses to drive insights from spatiotemporal data. He was a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Washington State University from 2020 - 2023. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University. 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, SIGSPATIAL and VLDB Journal. He is the main contributor of several open-sourced research projects such as Apache Sedona, a cluster computing framework for processing big spatial data, which receives 1 million downloads per month and has users / contributors from major companies.


  • 08/2023: I have resigned from WSU.
  • 06/2023: Wherobots raised $5.5 Million in seed round led by Clear Ventures and Wing VC.
  • 01/2023: Apache Sedona is now an Apache Software Foundation Top Level Project (TLP). See the Announcement from ASF. Being a TLP at Apache signifies that the project is mature, independent, and enjoys strong community support.
  • 12/2022: Invited to be a Program Committee member of ACM SIGMOD 2024.
  • 09/2022: I am currently on leave of absence from WSU.


  • Database systems
  • Distributed data systems
  • Geospatial data management


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2020

    Arizona State University

  • B.E. in Software Eng., Outstanding Graduate, 2013

    Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, China (西北农林科技大学, Project 985 & 211)