I am an Assistant Professor in the Gianforte School of Computing at Montana State University, having joined in the Fall of 2018. Prior to that, I got my PhD in Computer Science from Montana State University in 2017, followed by a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Computational Earth Science Group.

I am actively recruiting Computer Science or Mathematics students interested in graduate algorithms research to support funded projects in operations research, networks, and energy management.


I design algorithms for diverse domains including cloud computing, the smart grid, carbon sequestration infrastructure design, and LIDAR data management. My current work focuses on approximation techniques, handling uncertainty in network design, and fundamental graph theory problems. Some recent projects are described below.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

CCS requires infrastructure to be deployed on a large and costly scale. We develop planning tools, supported by complex optimization algorithms, to ensure that capture locations, storage sites, and the dedicated CO2 distribution pipelines are selected in a resilient, cost-effective, manner. Video, Link

Cloud Resource Management

Poor utilization of networked resources leads to poor application performance. We have projects that design algorithms to control tail latency, monitor and shape traffic for congestion control, and support massive throughput, ultra-low latency IoT applications.

Smart Grid Job Scheduling

Peaks in power demand are proportionally more expensive than constant demand to supply and provision for. We have introduced algorithms for flattening peak demand, and are exploring the design of smart grid infrastructure, and the incorporation of renewable energy into schedules.


Spring 2024



I received my PhD in Computer Science from Montana State University in the Spring of 2017. My dissertation was entitled: Scheduling for Optimized Network Resource Utilization #SmartGrid #Cloud. During my studies, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to intern at Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Google, and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. After graduation, I spent 15 months as a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory researching infrastructure design algorithms related to carbon capture and storage, before returning to MSU for a faculty position. Prior to pursuing a PhD, I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Mathematics (2007) and Johns Hopkins University with an MS in Applied Mathematics (2010). While attending Johns Hopkins, I worked for the US Army evaluating the effectiveness of weapon systems.

Though my wife and I both hail from Pittsburgh, I spent many summers as a child in Bozeman, and we both now spend the majority of our free time exploring the vast outdoors that Montana has to offer.

Contact Me

Office: 360 Barnard Hall
Email: sean.yaw (at) montana.edu
Phone: (406) 994-4791