Dr. Yao'’s research interests include Wireless communications and networks, with a focus on Co-channel interference analysis, random access protocols, Cognitive and software-defined radio, and SS/CDMA, OFDM/OFDMA. He also analyzes antennas and RF with a focus on Antenna arrays and beamforming, SDR and RF test bed, and Impulse radiating antennas.

His work in Defense from Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks has recent resulted in NSF funding which is aimed at advancing research towards a novel beamforming framework called xBeam that is intended to act as a defense against DoS in wireless networks. Dr. Yao’s research examines various DoS attacks, develops xBeam algorithms, evaluates the effectiveness of xBeam in deterring DoS attacks, and validates the algorithms using a wireless test bed. His research will substantially improve wireless network security and contribute to advances in networked mobile and wireless society.

Dr. Yao is also Director of the Wireless Information Systems Engineering (WISELAB) which provides the resources for exploration of advances in wireless communication systems, including performance analysis, algorithm development, and experimentation. Systems-level solutions are of particular interest, seeking to improve signal transmission performance and to increase wireless system capacity.

His professional service includes serving as editor of the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and as associate editor of both the IEEE Communications Letters and the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technologies.