Theory and Algorithms

Theory and Algorithms - an illustrationTheoretical computer science develops efficient algorithms and explores fundamental barriers to efficient and secure computation. Advances in algorithms can provide dramatic performance gains, which are critically important as the era of Moore's Law—and its promise of ever-increasing processor speeds—draws to a close.

Our faculty develop algorithms to find optimal paths, trees, flows, clusters, and other important combinatorial structures in geometric and network data. For problems where computing the best possible solution is prohibitively expensive, we develop fast approximation algorithms to compute provably good solutions, and we explore the limits of what cannot even be approximated quickly. We develop algorithms that exploit geometric, algebraic, and topological properties of data that arise naturally in practice. Within cryptography, we develop protocols for secure multiparty computation and code obfuscation. In algorithmic game theory, we study the impact of strategic behavior among multiple agents. Our research, in addition to its fundamental importance, has many near-term applications in Computer Science and beyond.

CS Faculty and Their Research Interests

Timothy Chan computational geometry
Chandra Chekuri algorithms, optimization 
Jeff Erickson computational geometry and topology, algorithms 
Michael Forbes computational complexity
Brighten Godfrey networked systems theory, distributed algorithms
Sariel Har-Peled computational geometry, geometric approximation algorithms
Sheldon Jacobson optimization, operations research
Alexandra Kolla complexity theory, spectral methods for graph algorithms 
Ruta Mehta algorithmic game theory, mathematical economics, efficient algorithms
Leonard Pitt  AI and theoretical computing 
Matus Telgarsky machine learning theory
Tandy Warnow multiple sequence alignment, phylogenomics, metagenomics, and historical linguistics

Affiliate Faculty

Karthik Chandrasekaran, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering combinatorial optimization, integer programming, probabilistic methods and analysis, randomized algorithms  
Negar Kiyavash, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering learning, statistical signal processing, and information theory; causality; network forensics 
Rakesh Nagi, Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering social networks, graph algorithms, applied operations research, discrete optimization

Adjunct Faculty

Manoj Prabhakaran, IIT Bombay cryptography, secure multi-party computation 

Related Theory and Algorithms Research Efforts and Groups

Seminars

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Theory and Algorithms Research News

Leslie Pack Kaelbling

Donald B. Gillies Memorial Lecture in Computer Science: Leslie Pack Kaelbling

October 4, 2017   Dr. Leslie Pack Kaelbling will discuss progress towards developing an integrated approach to solving very large problems in intelligent robotics.
Dr. Eva Tardos

Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Eva Tardos

October 2, 2017   On October 9, Dr. Eva Tardos will present her research on learning algorithms.
Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

Baker Award recognizes breadth and impact of Jacobson’s research

August 1, 2017   Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson has been honored with the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, recognizing his lifetime achievements in industrial engineering.
CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson

Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates

May 16, 2017   Using public health and transportation data, CS Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and colleagues found that higher mass transit use is correlated with lower obesity rates.

How secure are our airports?

January 6, 2017  

CNN - In the wake of the Ft. Lauderdale shooting, CS Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson's op-ed explains why airports will continue to be targets.