Ciao! Welcome to our lab!

The Control, Intelligent Autonomy/Robots and Optimization Research Lab consists of both undergraduate and graduate students in electrical engineering and robotics under the supervision of Dr. Ningshi Yao in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the George Mason University.

The research areas our group is actively engaged with are control theory, real-time scheduling, human-robot interaction/teaming, mixed integer optimization for resource allocation, bio-inspired robotics and autonomy, machine learning, and cyber-physical human systems.

You can also visit our youtube channel and the external CIAO Lab website (with more photos and videos) from the following links:


Dr. Ningshi Yao is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University. She received her PhD from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2020, and the BS in Automatic Control from Zhejiang University, China, in 2014. Prior to joining Mason, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology from November 2020 to July 2021. Her research interests include real-time scheduling, control theory, cyber-physical systems, machine learning and human-robot interaction.

I am looking for motivated students interested in control theory, AI and robotics research. Ciao lab will have 2 new PhD openings in Spring and Fall 2024. If you are interested, please feel free to email me at nyao4 at gmu dot edu.





COCOA2023 Paper Acceptance

Our paper entitled “Two Exact Algorithms for the Packet Scheduling Problem” by Dr. Fei Li and Dr. Ningshi Yao has been accepted by the 16th Annual International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications (COCOA’23). Dr. Read more…

IROS2023 Conference Trip

Ciao Lab had a great IROS2023 journey! Our PhD student Yidi Huang presented our novel work on visualizing what patients with eye motion disorders can see, using eye robots! And Rajul Kumar received the IDEA Read more…

Scrimmage GMU VS Lehigh

The GMU blimp squad team went to Lehigh university on August 16 and 17 for a scrimmage game with Lehigh Blimps team. Both teams have tested their most recent developments and had a successful game. Read more…

End of Summer Outing Event

It has been a productive and fruitful summer. The “Dragon” team of Defend The Republic project has implemented the first version of Braitenberg Blimps. Check out our video from our youtube channel. Thank you all Read more…

RAL paper Acceptance

Our paper entitled “Design, Implementation, and Observer-based Output Control of a Super-coiled Polymer-Driven Two Degree-of-Freedom Robotic Eye” by Sunil Kumar Rajendran, Dr. Ningshi Yao, and our collaborator Dr. Qi Wei and Dr. Feitian Zhang has Read more…

Contact us

Thanks for your interest in Ciao Lab. We are always looking for talented students and collaborators. Please feel free to send email to Dr. Yao or stop by at her office (ENGR 3241).


3241, ENGR Building, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030

Email: nyao4 at gmu dot edu

Contact Us