Professor Cai's research interests include competitive channel and supply chain management, interface between operations management and marketing, and supply chain finance. His scholarship has been supported by multiple organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Professor Cai has published more than 30 refereed papers in leading academic journals, such as Production and Operations Management, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Marketing Science. He holds a patent on an auction algorithm.
Professor Cai has been ranked #4 Prominent Retailing Author (final influence index) worldwide 2009-2015 by Emerald Publishing Limited. He is the recipient of the Best Paper Award of the Fifth International Conference on Electronic Commerce, the Shanghai Outstanding Paper Award in Social Science, Kansas State University President's Faculty Development Award, a CBA Fellow, the CBA Outstanding Contributions in Research Award, Santa Clara University Dean's Award for Scholarship Excellence, and the Shanghai Thousand Talent Program Distinguished Expert. He is also the 2016 Winner of the Oversea Outstanding Youth Research Fund (Project Continuation) of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (only one winner per year in all business areas nationwide in China with a grant of CNY2,000,000).
Professor Cai has chaired the annual International Workshop on Supply Chain Management (IWSCM) in Shanghai, China, since 2014 and the Supply Chain and Internet Financing Annual Meeting (SCIF) in Dalian, China, since 2016. He is also the recipient of the Outstanding Associate Editor Award of Decision Sciences Journal and the Leavey Impact Award for Service, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University (at most one such award is given schoolwide each year for contributions).
Professor Cai has also taught at Texas A&M International University and Kansas State University, and interned with the T.J. Watson Research Center at IBM in New York. He has won multiple teaching awards in both public and private universities, including the Ralph Reitz Outstanding Teaching Award in Kansas State University (one per year schoolwide), multiple Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence in Santa Clara University, and the Leavey Impact Award for Teaching (at most one per year schoolwide for contributions over the preceding five years). In 2018 he was awarded the Wickham Skinner Award for Teaching Innovation at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Production & Operations Management Society (POMS) in Houston.
Professor Cai received his B.S. in physics from Peking University and his M.S. in business statistics and economics from the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University. He earned his Ph.D. in operations research and computer science from North Carolina State University. He is an Associate Editor of Decision Science Journal and a Senior Editor of Production and Operations Management Journal.