Schenectady, New York, U.S.
Yang was born in Schenectady, New York, on January 13, 1975. His parents were from Taiwan and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s. They met while they were both in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. His father graduated with a Ph.D. in physics and worked in the research labs of IBM and General Electric, generating over 69 patents in his career. His mother graduated with a master's degree in statistics and became a systems administrator at a local university. Yang has an older brother, Lawrence, who is a psychology professor.