Professor Santosh Vempala named Simons Investigator

In 2023, Professor Santosh Vempala was named a Simons Investigator by the Simons Foundation.

"Simons Investigators are outstanding theoretical scientists who receive a stable base of research support from the foundation, enabling them to undertake the long-term study of fundamental questions."

See the School of Computer Science news story here.

The citation by the Simons foundation reads:

"Santosh Vempala has made fundamental advances in the theory of algorithms: for sampling high-dimensional distributions, computing the volume of a convex body, optimization over convex sets, randomized matrix approximation, as well as basic problems in machine learning. In many cases, these were the first polynomial-time algorithms and co-evolved with insights into high-dimensional geometry and probability. Recent highlights include proving that sufficiently sparse linear systems can be solved faster than matrix multiplication (Ax=b, the workhorse of modern computation); extending sampling methods to non-Euclidean (Riemannian) geometries to make them faster (leading to practical methods in very high dimension); pioneering techniques for algorithmic robust statistics (immune to adversarial corruptions); and developing a rigorous theory of computation and learning in the brain in a biologically plausible model (how does the mind emerge from neurons and synapses?). He continues to be puzzled by whether an unknown polytope can be learned in polytime from samples, whether its diameter is bounded by a polynomial in its description length, whether its volume can be computed in polytime without randomization, and whether the answers to these questions will be discovered by humans or by AI."

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