Yu Tao (ytao)

Yu Tao

Associate Professor

School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Morton 316
(201) 216-8245


  • PhD (2009) Georgia Institute of Technology (Sociology of Science and Technology)
  • MS (2007) Georgia Institute of Technology (History and Sociology of Technology and Science)
  • MEd (2004) Boston University (Educational Media and Technology)
  • BA (2000) East China Normal University (English)


I work on two broad research topics: 1) human resources in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). More specifically, I examine group differences in STEM education and workforce outcomes due to gender, race/ethnicity, immigration status, and the intersection of such personal characteristics. 2) I investigate online privacy and fair privacy from the sociological perspective, e.g., how the public’s online privacy skills and perceptions of fair privacy protection are affected by their background, online privacy educational tools, and policies.

I am currently a co-PI of an NSF grant and was the co-PI of two NSF grants awarded to Stevens and the co-organizer of a workshop sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The issues addressed in these projects include STEM education, STEM workforce, online privacy and fair privacy.

My recent publications include peer-reviewed articles that investigate the public's online privacy confidence and fair privacy perception and the intersectional effects of gender and race on educational trajectories, retentions, and earnings of scientists and engineers. Other journal publications examine gender gaps in publication productivity among scientists and engineers in the U.S. and China, sex segregation at work in engineering, and crowdsourcing and online privacy.

I have also co-edited a volume with John Brooks Slaughter (University of Southern California) and Willie Pearson, Jr. (Georgia Tech) published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in Oct. 2015. This book examines an important yet understudied topic from an interdisciplinary perspective: the experience of African Americans in engineering. The contributors of this volume include four members of the National Academy of Engineering (the highest honor for engineers) as well as researchers and policy makers from academia, industry, and government. I also co-authored a chapter in this book.

I am also a reviewer for sociological and social science journals, including American Journal of Sociology; Information, Communication & Society; Science, Technology, & Human Values; Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering; International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology; The Sociological Quarterly; Work and Occupations; and Research in Higher Education.

General Information

Before I started graduate school, I worked in Supply Chain Management at a telecommunications company, Siemens Shanghai Mobile Communications, in Shanghai, China. While a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech, I worked as a teaching assistant, research assistant, international education assistant, and instructor. At Stevens, in addition to my faculty role, I am also the director of the Gender and Cultural Studies program.


Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA. Instructor / Research Assistant / Teaching Assistant. Aug. 2004 – Aug. 2009

Siemens Shanghai Mobile Communications Ltd., Shanghai, China. July 2000 – Aug. 2003

Institutional Service

  • Academic Planning and Resources Committee Member
  • CAL/HASS Promotion and Tenure Committee Member
  • Search Committee (QSS) Member
  • CAL/HASS Nominating Committee Member
  • VPHR Search Committee Member
  • Mentor to Junior Faculty Member
  • CAL Extended P&T Committee Member
  • Board of Trustees Committee on Academic and Students Affairs Member
  • CAL Dean Reappointment Committee Member

Professional Service

  • American Sociological Association Secretary/Treasurer, Science, Knowledge, and Technology (SKAT) Section
  • National Academy of Engineering Committee on Extraordinary Engineering Impacts on Society
  • American Sociological Review Reviewer
  • Information, Communication, & Society Journal Reviewer
  • National Academies Reviewer for Ford Fellowships
  • International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology Reviewer
  • American Sociological Association (Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology) Member, Star Nelkin Paper Committee
  • Oxford University Press Reviewer
  • American Sociological Association (Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology) Member, Hacker-Mullins Student Paper Award
  • Research in Higher Education Reviewer for journal
  • Work and Occupations Reviewer
  • "Social justice and education in the 21st century –Research from South Africa and the United States" Reviewer
  • Sociological Quarterly Reviewer
  • Pacific Sociological Association Session Organizer
  • University of Southern California Writing

Honors and Awards

I was invited to give a talk at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2016, 2019, 2022.

Walter B. Jones Foundation Fellowship (Dissertation Fellowship). Georgia Tech. Aug. 2008 – May 2009

National Summer Data Policy Institute Fellowship. Association for Institutional Research. June 2007

Professional Societies

  • ESS – Eastern Sociological Society Member
  • PSA – Pacific Sociological Association Member
  • ASA – American Sociological Association Member

Grants, Contracts and Funds

Stevens, CAL/HASS Seed Grant. “Data Reuse, Online Privacy, and Sustainability of Fair Privacy: A Sociological Investigation.” $5,000. 2022-2023 (My role: PI).

NSF: PerfStudio: Cultivating Performance-Aware Software Engineers. $299,751.00 (My role: evaluator).

NSF: SaTC: CORE: Medium: Privacy for All: Ensuring Fair Privacy Protection in Machine Learning. $699,540. 2021-2023 (My role: co-PI).

Sloan Foundation: "African Americans in Engineering: A Workshop" (Workshop for Research Results, Best Practices, and Policy Recommendations for African Americans in Engineering). $99,284.00, September 1, 2015-December 31, 2016 (My role: co-organizer/consultant).

NSF, SaTC-EDU: EAGER: “Development and Evaluation of Privacy Education Tools via Open Collaboration.” $289,590.00, June 1, 2015-May 31, 2017 (My role: co-PI)

NSF, S-STEM: “Software Engineering Master’s Program for Liberal Arts Graduates.” $632,002. Apr. 15, 2015-March 31, 2021 (My role: co-PI)

Walter B. Jones Foundation Fellowship (Dissertation Fellowship). Georgia Tech. 2008 – 2009

National Summer Data Policy Institute Fellowship. Association for Institutional Research. 2007

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Book
Slaughter, John, Yu Tao, and Willie Pearson, Jr., editors. 2015. Changing the Face of Engineering: The African American Experience. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press (Reprinted in 2016 due to demand)

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
1. Tao, Yu and Hui Wang. 2023. “Fair Privacy: How College Students Perceive Fair Privacy Protection in Online Datasets.” Information, Communication and Society (Special Issue). 26(5): 974-989.

2. Karl, Kristyn* and Yu Tao*. 2023. “Correcting False Confidence in Online Privacy: Experimenting with an Educational Game.” Information Communication & Society (Special Issue). 26(5): 990-1007.

3. Tao, Yu. 2020. “Earnings of Foreign-Born Doctoral Engineers in the United States: Intersectionality of Citizenship Status and Gender.” Sociological Spectrum, 40(3): 151-171.

4. Tao, Yu and Connie L. McNeely. 2019. “Gender and Race Intersectional Effects in the U.S. Engineering Workforce: Who Stays? Who Leaves?” International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 11(1): 181-202.

5. Tao, Yu. 2018. “Earnings of Academic Scientists and Engineers: Intersectionality of Gender and Race/Ethnicity Effects.” American Behavioral Scientist, 62(5): 625-644.

6. Tao, Yu, Wei Hong, and Ying Ma. 2017. “Gender Differences in Publication Productivity among Scientists and Engineers in the U.S. and China: Similarities and Differences.” Minerva, 55(4), 459-484.

7. Wang, Kai, Hui Wang, and Yu Tao. 2017. “Combining Ideas in Crowdsourced Idea Generation.” Foundations of Management, 9(1): 203-212.

8. Tao, Yu. 2016. “Where Do They Do Engineering? Gender Differences in Employment Sectors and Types of Positions among Engineering Doctorate Recipients.” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 22(1): 69-89.

9. Tao, Yu. 2015. “Engineering Doctoral Degree Trend of Asian-American Women in the United States, 1994-2013.” The Open Social Science Journal, 7: 1-7.

10. Tao, Yu. 2011. “The Earnings of Asian Engineers in the U.S.: Race, Nativity, Degree Origin, and Influences of Institutional Factors on Human Capital and Earnings.” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 17(3): 225-249.

11. Tao, Yu. 2010. “Multiple Disadvantages? The Earnings of Asian Women Computer Scientists in the United States.” International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology, 2(2): 136-158.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters
1. Tao, Yu and Cheryl B. Leggon. 2021. “African American Women in Engineering: Intersectionality and Social Justice.” Pp. 241-272 in Willie Pearson Jr. and Vijay Reddy (Ed.s), Social Justice and Education in the 21st Century: Research from South Africa and the United States. Springer.

2. Tao, Yu*, and Sandra Hanson*. 2015. “Engineering the Future: African Americans in Doctoral Engineering Education.” Pp. 57-89 in John Brooks Slaughter, Yu Tao, and Willie Pearson, Jr. (Ed.s). Changing the Face of Engineering: The African American Experience. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

3. Atwaters, Sybrina, and Yu Tao. 2015. “Enrollment and Degree Awards in Chemical Engineering.” Pp. 161-167 in Willie Pearson, Jr., Lisa Frehill and Connie L. McNeely (Ed.s), Advancing Women in Science: An International Perspective. New York: Springer.

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings and Technical Reports
1. Hui Wang, Yu Tao, Kai Wang, Dominik Jedruszczak, Ben Knutson. 2017. “Leveraging Crowd for Collecting and Maintaining Educational Resources for Privacy Learning.” DEStech Transactions on Computer Science and Engineering (AMEIT 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.12783/dtcse/ameit2017/12295.

2. Hui Wang, Yu Tao, Kai Wang, Dominik Jedruszczak, Ben Knutson. 2016. “Leveraging Crowd for Game-based Learning: A Case Study of Privacy Education Game Design and Evaluation by Crowdsourcing.” Technical report. Published online at http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.02766.

3. Tao, Yu. 2011. “Are Asian Immigrant Engineers the Same? Earning Differences among Asian Immigrant Engineers in the U.S. by Nationality.” In Proceedings of the 2011 Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy 2011. Published by IEEE.

4. Tao, Yu. 2009. “Earnings of Asian Immigrant Computer Scientists: The Effect of the Degree Origin.” In Proceedings of the 2009 Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy, Edited by Susan E. Cozzens and Pablo Catalán. Published by IEEE.

Other Publication
1. Tao, Yu. 2006. “3G in China: A Resource-Based Examination of Telecom Firms in China.” Pp. 159-171 in Michael Best (Ed.) Last Mile Initiative Innovations: Research Findings from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development.

* Equal contribution