Theory and Algorithms
Theoretical 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|
|Dakshita Khurana||cryptography, privacy, security|
|Ruta Mehta||algorithmic game theory, mathematical economics, efficient algorithms|
|Leonard Pitt||AI and theoretical computing|
|Matus Telgarsky||machine learning theory|
|Mahesh Viswanathan||algorithmic verification of cyberphysical systems|
|Tandy Warnow||multiple sequence alignment, phylogenomics, metagenomics, and historical linguistics|
|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|
|Alexandra Kolla, University of Colorado at Boulder||complexity theory, spectral methods for graph algorithms|
|Manoj Prabhakaran, IIT Bombay||cryptography, secure multi-party computation|
Related Theory and Algorithms Research Efforts and Groups
- Information Trust Institute (ITI) in the Coordinated Science Lab
- Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB)
- Theory and Algorithms Group
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Theory and Algorithms Research News
Resoundingly Human podcast -- Illinois CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson appears on the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences' podcast to discus his IMPACT Prize from the group. The prize recognized work by Jacobson and his students that helped transform air-travel security.
New Scientist -- The roadmap for exascale hardware is fairly well laid out. Software and algorithms to run across potentially billions of cores may be trickier. “Every generation of supercomputers leaves some users behind,” says William Gropp, CS professor and director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “That’s been a constant problem and I think we’re going to see it again.” (behind paywall)