New England Lab Current Members' Bios

Open since July 2008, Microsoft Research New England would like to introduce and welcome our permanent members, post-docs, visiting researchers, weekly visitors, and interns. Since July 2011, our lab also has a group of remote researchers in Herzelia, Israel.

Permanent Members

Boaz Barak  Boaz Barak, Senior Researcher
Boaz Barak received his Ph.D in 2004 from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Following a postdoc at the Institute for Advanced Study, he joined the faculty of Princeton University where he was most recently an associate professor of Computer Science. He is interested in theoretical computer science, and in particular cryptography and computational complexity. He has won the ACM doctoral dissertation award in 2004 and a Packard fellowship in 2007. Read more...

Nancy Baym, Principal Researcher

Nancy Baym earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994, writing the first Ph.D. dissertation on online community (later published as Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community; Sage, 2000). Her work examines how people and audiences understand and use communication technologies in their relationships. She is the author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity Press, 2010), Internet Inquiry: Conversations about Methods (co-edited with Annette Markham, Sage 2009), as well as dozens of articles and book chapters. She was a co-founder of the Association of Internet Researchers and serves on the editorial boards of several new media and Communication journals. Before coming to Microsoft, she was a Professor of Communication Studies. She is now a Visiting Professor in Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT.  Read more... 

Christian Borgs, Deputy Managing Director
Christian Borgs is deputy managing director of Microsoft Research lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also an affiliate professor of mathematics at the University of Washington. Before becoming deputy managing director of the New England lab, he was a principal researcher and co-manager of the Theory Group at Microsoft Research. Borgs’ research areas include properties of self-engineered networks, phase transitions in theoretical computer science, and algorithmic game theory. Read more... 
Jennifer Chayes, Managing Director
Jennifer Tour Chayes is distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research New York City, as well as the Microsoft Research New England lab in Cambridge. Before this, she was research area manager for Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science and Cryptography at Microsoft Research Redmond. Chayes joined Microsoft Research in 1997, when she co-founded the Theory Group, and for ten years before this, she was Professor of Mathematics at UCLA. Chayes’ research areas include phase transitions in discrete mathematics and computer science, structural and dynamical properties of self-engineered networks, and algorithmic game theory. She is the co-author of over 125 scientific papers and the co-inventor of more than 30 patents. Chayes is the recipient of many awards and honors: she is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, the American Mathematical Society, the Fields Institute, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a National Associate of the National Academies, an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of the Women of Vision Leadership Award of the Anita Borg Institute. Read more...


Henry Cohn, Principal Researcher
Henry Cohn’s mathematical interests include symmetry and exceptional structures; more generally, he enjoys any area in which concrete problems are connected in surprising ways with abstract mathematics. He came to Microsoft Research as a post-doc in 2000 and joined the theory group in 2001. In 2007 he became head of the cryptography group, and in 2008 he moved to Cambridge with Jennifer Chayes and Christian Borgs to help set up Microsoft Research New England. He stays up late at night worrying about why the 16th dimension isn’t like the 8th or 24th. Read more...

Mary L. Gray, Senior Researcher

Mary Gray studied anthropology before receiving her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2004. Her research looks at how media access and everyday uses of technologies shape people's lives. Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (New York University Press, 2009), which won awards from scholarly societies in anthropology, media studies, and sociology, examines how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people negotiate and express their identities in rural parts of the United States—and the role that media, particularly the Internet, play in their lives and political work. She served on the executive board of the American Anthropological Association from 2008 until 2010 and holds a seat on that group's Committee on Public Policy. She’s been an associate professor of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, with adjunct appointments in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies. Read more...


Luong Hoang, Research Software Design Engineer (RSDE) II

Luong (Louie) received a B.S. in Mathematics, Computer Science and Quantitative Economics from Drake University in 2008. He was named the Outstanding Student in Mathematics and is a recipient of the Best Undergraduate Research Paper award at MICS 07 conference. After graduation he joined Microsoft on the Dynamics AX team, helping to build the product’s kernel workspace and programmatic API set. He is currently also a graduate student at MIT studying Computer Science with a specific focus on Machine Learning and Computer Vision. Read more…


Nicole Immorlica, Researcher

Nicole's research lies broadly within the field of algorithmic game theory. Using tools and modeling concepts from both theoretical computer science and economics, Nicole hopes to explain, predict, and shape behavioral patterns in various online and offline systems, markets, and games. Her areas of specialty include social networks and mechanism design. Nicole received her Ph.D. from MIT in Cambridge, MA in 2005 and then completed three years of postdocs at both Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA and CWI in Amsterdam, Netherlands before accepting a job as an assistant professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL in 2008. She joined the Microsoft Research New England Lab in 2012. Read more...


Sham Kakade, Principal Researcher

Sham Kakade is a senior researcher. He works on designing scalable and efficient algorithms for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Recently, his focus is two-fold: 1) designing effective algorithms which discover latent structure and features and 2) understanding how to efficiently achieve state of the art (supervised) performance on challenging datasets (in domains such as vision and NLP domains). Sham was previously an associate professor of statistics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an assistant professor at the Toyota Technological Institute. He received his B.A. from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit affiliated with University College London. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with Michael Kearns. Read more...

Adam Tauman Kalai

Adam Tauman Kalai, Principal Researcher

Adam was previously an assistant professor of computer science at Georgia Tech and TTI-Chicago. He received a PhD at CMU from the ingenious Avrim Blum, followed by an NSF post-doc at MIT under the wise guidance of Santosh Vempala. His main research interests are machine learning and crowdsourcing. Read more... 

Yael Tauman Kalai Yael Tauman Kalai, Senior Researcher
Most recently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. Before this, Yael was a post-doc at the Weizmann Institute in Israel and Microsoft Research in Redmond. She graduated from MIT, working in cryptography under the superb supervision of Shafi Goldwasser. Read more... 
Butler Lampson Butler Lampson, Technical Fellow
Butler is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft and an Adjunct Professor at MIT. He has worked on computer architecture, local area networks, raster printers, page description languages, operating systems, remote procedure call, programming languages and their semantics, programming in the large, fault-tolerant computing, transaction processing, computer security, WYSIWYG editors, and tablet computers. He was one of the designers of the SDS 940 time-sharing system, the Alto personal distributed computing system, the Xerox 9700 laser printer, two-phase commit protocols, the Autonet LAN, the SPKI system for network security, the Microsoft Tablet PC software, the Microsoft Palladium high-assurance stack, and several programming languages. He received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1984 for his work on the Alto, the IEEE Computer Pioneer award in 1996 and von Neumann Medal in 2001, the Turing Award in 1992, and the NAE’s Draper Prize in 2004. Read more...
  Greg Lewis, Senior Researcher
Greg Lewis is an economist, whose main research interests lie in industrial organization, market design and applied econometrics. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and his MA and PhD both from the University of Michigan. He then served on the economics faculty at Harvard, as assistant and then associate professor. Recently, his time has been spent analyzing strategic learning by firms in the British electricity market, suggesting randomized mechanisms for price discrimination in online display advertising, developing econometric models of auction markets, and evaluating the design of procurement auctions. 
  Jennifer Listgarten, Researcher
Jennifer Listgarten took a long and winding road to find her current area of interest in computational biology. She started off with a Physics degree, followed by a Master’s in Computer Vision before completing a Ph.D. in Machine Learning at the University of Toronto with advisors Sam Roweis and Radford Neal. Within computational biology, Jennifer is interested in methods development, especially using insights from machine learning along with more standard applied statistics. She also has an interest in application of these methods to discover new biological/medical insights. Jennifer has worked in a broad set of domain areas including gene expression studies, LC-MS proteomics, immunoinformatics, statistical genetics, and epigenetics. She is currently also starting to explore topics related to cancer and wearables. 

Ce Liu, Researcher
Ce Liu just joined MSRNE as a postdoc researcher right after he obtained his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received the BS degree in automation and the ME degree in pattern recognition from the Department of Automation, Tsinghua University in 1999 and 2002, respectively. From 2002 to 2003, he worked at Microsoft Research Asia as an assistant researcher. His research interests include computer vision, computer graphics, and machine learning. He has published more than 20 papers in the top conferences and journals in these fields. He received a Microsoft Fellowship in 2005, the outstanding student paper award at the Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in 2006, a Xerox Fellowship in 2007, the best student paper award at IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in 2009. Read more...


Brendan Lucier, Researcher

Brendan's research interests lie in the intersection of theoretical computer science, game theory, and microeconomics, with a focus on the theory of auctions and pricing games. He is particularly interested in applying approximation methods to the design and analysis of complex marketplaces. He is also interested in the theory of social networks, especially from the perspective of randomized algorithms and stochastic processes. Brendan received his PhD in computer science from the University of Toronto and a M.Math from the University of Waterloo, then spent two years as a post-doc at the Microsoft Research New England lab. Read more... 


Markus Mobius, Principal Researcher

Markus was formerly an Associate Professor of economics at Harvard University. He received my PhD from MIT in 2000 and previously earned an M.Phil in economics and a B.A. in mathematics from Oxford University. His main research agenda deals with the economics of social networks. On the theory side, Markus builds models of learning, coordination and cooperation within social networks. He is particularly interested in how social networks can generate trust. On the empirical side, he uses a combination of lab and field experiments with real social networks to estimate these models. In a second line of research, Markus has explored how people manage their self-confidence when ego is at stake. Recently, he has used browsing data to analyze the economics of online news consumption. Read more... 

Madhu Sudan

Madhu Sudan, Principal Researcher

Madhu Sudan got his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1992, and joined MSR in May 2009 after stints in IBM Research (1992-1997) and MIT (1997-2009) where he was the Fujitsu Professor of EECS and Associate Director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Madhu Sudan's research lies in the fields of computational complexity theory, algorithms and coding theory. He is best known for his works on probabilistic checking of proofs, and on the design of list-decoding algorithms for error-correcting codes. His current research interests include semantic communication and property testing. In 2002, Madhu Sudan was awarded the Nevanlinna Prize, for outstanding contributions to the mathematics of computer science, at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Beijing. Read more...




Siu On Chan, Post-Doc

Siu On Chan got his PhD at UC Berkeley under the supervision of Luca Trevisan and Elchanan Mossel. His research interests in theoretical computer science include hardness of approximation, distributional property testing, and random constraint satisfaction problems. He won a Best Paper Award and Best Student Paper Award at STOC 13. Read more...

  Kevin Driscoll
Kevin Driscoll received his Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Southern California. His research concerns the popular and political cultures of networked personal computing with special attention to myths about internet infrastructure. His dissertation traced the popular history of social computing through the dial-up bulletin board systems of the 1980s and 1990s. Currently, he is working on a project about the interplay of race, pop culture, and political action in Black Twitter. Previously, he earned an MS in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and taught computer science at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School. 

Hu Fu, Post-Doc

Hu Fu received his PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University, where he was advised by Bobby Kleinberg. He is interested in algorithmic mechanism design and broadly theoretical computer science. One theme in his research is the design and analysis of simple, practical and approximately optimal mechanisms. Read more... 


Rong Ge, Post-Doc

Rong Ge received his PhD from Princeton University. His advisor is Sanjeev Arora. He is mainly interested in applying algorithm design techniques from theoretical computer science to machine learning problems, with the hope of provable algorithms and better understanding of the machine learning models. Other than that, Rong Ge is broadly interested in many problems related to theory or applying theory to other fields, his other works include algorithms using SDP hierarchies and applying computational complexity to financial derivatives. Read more...


Nikolai Gravin, Post-Doc

Nikolai Gravin finished graduate school at Saint-Petersburg department of Steklov Mathematical Institute in Russia. At the same time he was a PhD student at the mathematical department of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research interests are twofold. In Mathematics he has been working in graph theory, convex and discrete geometry. In Theoretical Computer Science he is particularly interested in Algorithmic Mechanism Design and Equilibria computations. Read more...


Jessa Lingel, Post-Doc

Jessa Lingel is a PhD candidate in library and information science at Rutgers University. She has an MLIS from Pratt Institute and an MA from New York University. Her research interests include information inequality, socio-cultural politics of social media technologies and technological nostalgia.  Read more...


Ricardo Perez-Truglia, Harvard
Ricardo Perez-Truglia received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. His research fields are Public Economics, Political Economy, Behavioral Economics and Macroeconomics. His research interests include topics such as campaign finance, political polarization, information disclosure, charitable giving, peer influence, tax evasion, conspicuous consumption, preferences for redistribution and inflation expectations. He specializes in empirical methods, with a special focus on field experiments and quasi-experiments. He grew up in Buenos Aires, where he received his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Universidad de San Andres.


Michael Rubinstein, Post-Doc

Michael received his PhD from MIT, where he was advised by Bill Freeman. His research is in computer vision and graphics, and focuses on areas in image/video processing, and computational photography and video. He is a recipient of the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship (2012), and the NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship (2011). Read more...


Nike Sun, Stanford
Nike Sun received her Ph.D. in Statistics at Stanford University. Her research is in probability theory and statistical physics. She is interested in the statistical mechanics of sparse graphs, and recently worked on threshold phenomena in random ensembles of constraint satisfaction problems.

  James Zou
James Zou received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2014. He was recently a Simons fellow at U.C. Berkeley and a research associate at the Broad Institute. He is interested in developing machine learning algorithms to gain insights into both human evolution and human diseases. He is also interested in design-optimization for synthetic biology and in algorithms inspired by natural and social phenomena.  

Visiting Researchers

  Nageeb Ali, UC San Diego
Nageeb is an Assistant Professor of Economics at UC-San Diego, who completed his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University. He is a game theorist who studies the impact of institutions and networks on strategic behavior, with a particular focus on how incentives in the future and information from the past shape behavior in the present.  

Tarleton Gillespie, Cornell

Tarleton Gillespie is an associate professor at Cornell University, in the Department of Communication and the Department of Information Science. His current research examines the sociological implications of online media platforms and their search algorithms, particularly for how they shape the contours of public expression and knowledge. He is the co-editor of Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society (2014) and the author of Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture (2007). Read more...

  Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia
Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author or editor of four books: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (NYU Press, 2001); The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004); Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007); The Googlization of Everything – and Why We Should Worry (The University of California Press, 2011).

Weekly Visitors


Amitabh Chandra, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Amitabh Chandra is an economist and a Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a Research Associate at the IZA Institute in Bonn, Germany and at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He also serves as a Special Commissioner on Provider Price Reform. His research focuses on productivity and cost-growth in healthcare and racial disparities in healthcare. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Health Affairs. He is an editor of the Journal of Human Resources, Economics Letters, and the American Economic Journal. Professor Chandra has testified to the United States Senate, the National Academy of Science, the Institute of Medicine and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, and on National Public Radio. He is the recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award, the first-prize recipient of the Upjohn Institute's International Dissertation Research Award, the Kenneth Arrow Award for best paper in health economics, and the Eugene Garfield Award for the impact of medical research. Read more...


Ernest Fraenkel, MIT

Ernest Fraenkel studied Chemistry and Physics as an undergraduate at Harvard College and obtained his Ph.D. in Structural Biology at MIT in the department of Biology. After doing post-doctoral work in the same field at Harvard, he turned his attention to the emerging field of Systems Biology. His research now focuses on using high-throughput techniques and computational methods to uncover the molecular pathways that are altered in disease and to identify new therapeutic strategies. Read more...


Bill Freeman, MIT

Bill Freeman is a professor in the EECS Department at MIT, directing a computer vision research group in CSAIL. He is interested in novel camera designs (computational photography) and in topics at the intersections of computer vision, computer graphics, and machine learning. Questions of interest include how to characterize and represent images and image sequences, how to sample signals, and how to re-render videos to reveal otherwise unseen signals of interest. In 2010, he was an Associate Director of CSAIL.  Read more...


Scott Kominers, Harvard

Scott Duke Kominers is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, a Research Scientist at the Harvard Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, and an Associate of the Harvard Center for Research on Computation and Society. From 2011-2013, he was the inaugural Research Scholar at the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago. Kominers received his A.B. in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University, in 2009 and 2011, respectively. His research focuses on market design and its interactions with law and computer science. His specific research interests include matching theory, eminent domain, law and economics, and quadratic form representation theory. 


Jason Miller, MIT

Jason Miller received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 2011. He was a post-doctoral researcher in the Theory Group at MSR in Redmond from 2010-2012 and is currently a post-doc in the mathematics department of MIT. He is interested in all forms of probability theory, including SLE, random walks, and random surfaces. Read more...




Nick Arnosti, Stanford
Nick Arnosti is a PhD student in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. His research addresses questions in game theory and market design; within this space, his interests are quite broad. Recently he has studied availability in dynamic matching markets (with Ramesh Johari and Yash Kanoria) and adverse selection in internet display advertising (with Paul Milgrom and Marissa Beck).  Read more...


David Belanger, UMass Amherst

David Belanger is a 3rd year PhD student in Computer Science at UMass Amherst, advised by Andrew McCallum. His research focuses on machine learning and natural language processing, with a particular emphasis on posing inference in structured models as optimization problems and representing words and concepts as low-dimensional vectors. Before grad school, he did handwriting recognition research at a local R+D firm and in college he helped developed numerical methods for simulating earthquakes along non-planar faults. Read more...  


Clément Canonne, Columbia
Clement Canonne is a 2nd-year PhD student at Columbia University, under the supervision of Rocco Servedio. His main focus is on computational learning, property testing and distribution testing, as well as -- quite generally -- the use of randomness in theoretical computer science.  

  Hoon Cho, MIT
Hoon Cho is a PhD student at MIT in Computer Science advised by Professor Bonnie Berger. His research interests lie in developing machine learning algorithms for interesting problems in computational biology. His recent projects include building a Bayesian model for detecting differences in community structure across multiple networks, and reconstructing biological networks through active learning.  

Matthew de Courcy-Ireland, Princeton

Matthew de Courcy-Ireland is a second-year PhD student of Peter Sarnak in the mathematics department at Princeton. He is Henry Cohn’s intern this summer. Matthew went to college at McGill, in his hometown of Montreal.  


Roy Frostig, Stanford

Roy Frostig is a second-year PhD student in computer science at Stanford, advised by Percy Liang. He's interested in tools for statistical learning and optimization that are reliable, efficient, and free of intricate knob-tweaking, and in the extent to which these are possible.  Read more... 

  Shirshendu Ganguly, University of Washington
Shirshendu Ganguly is a 3rd year PhD student in Mathematics at University of Washington, Seattle. He is advised jointly by Ioana Dumitriu and Christopher Hoffman. His research area is broadly Probability Theory. Primarily his research focuses on Mixing time of Markov chains, Long term behavior of Interacting particle systems, Random walk on Graphs and Deterministic Cellular Automata. Recently he has also been looking into Random Matrix Theory with focus on Spectral properties of Random Graphs. Over the summer he will investigate the area of graph limits and estimation problems under the mentorship of Christian Borgs. 

Darrell Hoy, Northwestern

Darrell Hoy is a PhD candidate in computer science at Northwestern University, advised by Jason Hartline. His research lies primarily in the overlaps of computer science and economics, often involving mechanism design and risk aversion. Some recent work has looked at understanding revenue in simple auctions without having to solve for equilibrium. 

  Furong Huang, UC Irvine
Furong Huang is a 4th year PhD student in Computer Science at UC Irvine, advised by Anima Anandkumar. Her research focuses on machine learning (graphical models structure and parameter learning) and applications to biology world. She works specifically on latent variable graphical models using spectral methods such as matrix and tensor decompositions. She is interested in applying her methods to topic modeling, community detection and bio data.  Read more... 

Qingqing Huang, MIT

Qingqing Huang is a third year graduate student in EECS at MIT under the supervision of Munther Dahleh. Her research interests include areas of system identification, statistical learning, and graphical models. Recently she has been working on the problems of hidden Markov model realization and gaussian mixture model learning using tensor decomposition techniques. 


Alessandro Ingrosso, Politecnico di Torino

Alessandro Ingrosso is a 2nd-year PhD student in Physics at Politecnico di Torino(Italy) working in Riccardo Zecchina’s Statistical Mechanics and Interdisciplinary Applications Lab. He holds a B.Sc. in Psychology, a B.Sc. in Physics and a Master in Physics of Complex Systems. His work focuses on applications of Stat. Mech. Techniques to Inference and Machine Learning problems, with a focus in Computational Neuroscience: he has recently worked on inverse problems in network spreading models, as well as in the development of distributed learning algorithms for neural networks. 

  Tressie McMillan Cottom, Emory University
As a stratification scholar, Tressie considers what inequality means both experientially and empirically when corporations are people, supranational corporations like Facebook and Twitter shape the public square, and public goods like education are privatized. She was a 2013 research fellow at the Center for Poverty Research at UC-Davis. Her research primarily mines organizational arrangements and structural processes to better understand inequality across rapidly changing social domains. Her current work examines for-profit colleges and inequality with a developing research agenda in race, gender, and the political economies of social media. Her book on for-profit colleges is forthcoming from The New Press and she publishes widely on education, media, and inequality.

Vicente Ordonez-Roman, UNC Chapel Hill

Vicente Ordonez is a PhD Student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill advised by Prof. Tamara Berg. He also holds an MS in Computer Science from Stony Brook University and a computer engineering degree from the Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral, Ecuador. His research interests lie at the intersection of Computer Vision, Natural Language Understanding and Human Perception. He is a recipient of the Marr Prize in 2013, awarded to the Best Paper at the International Conference on Computer Vision and a recipient of a Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award in 2012.  Read more... 


Sunoo Park, MIT

Sunoo Park is a 1st->2nd year Ph.D. student at MIT in the Theory group, advised by Shafi Goldwasser. Before coming to MIT, she did her B.A. at the University of Cambridge. Her main research interests are cryptography and game theory. Sunoo’s projects include work on full-information protocols for coin-flipping and random selection; cryptographic "cheap talk" implementation of equilibria in games; and encryption and authentication based on hardness of learning problems. This summer, she is working with Yael Kalai at MSR. 


Aaron Potechin, MIT

Aaron Potechin is a PhD student at MIT in mathematics advised by Professor Jonathan Kelner. His main research interests are in computational complexity and combinatorics. His dissertation research is on using the switching network model to analyze space complexity and his work on this won him the Machtey award for best student paper at the FOCS 2010 conference. He has recently begun researching the sum of squares/Laserre hierarchy as well, in particular how well it performs for the planted clique problem.  

  Ben Roth, MIT
Ben Roth is a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT economics department. His research interests are in development economics and economic theory. He is particularly interested in the application of mechanism design as a tool to solve asymmetric information problems in developing countries, and in understanding the tradeoffs between informal risk sharing and the adoption formal institutions. 

Evan Sadler, NYU

Evan Sadler is a PhD student at New York University’s Stern School of Business, working primarily with Ilan Lobel, Roy Radner, and David Pearce. His research focuses on the spread of information and behaviors in social networks, studying how bounded rationality and strategic considerations affect individual choices and aggregate welfare. Prior to entering graduate school, Evan spent two years as an analyst at Cornerstone Research in Boston. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a certificate in finance from Princeton University. Read more...

  Ran Shorrer, Harvard
Ran Shorrer is an economics PhD candidate at Harvard University and Harvard Business School. Before that he completed a master’s degree at the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University. His research focuses on market design and economic theory. His research focuses on market design and economic theory. 
  Aaron Sidford, MIT
Aaron Sidford is a PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology advised by Professor Jonathan Kelner. His research interests lie broadly in the theory of computation and the design of efficient algorithms. He is particularly interested in problems at the intersection of combinatorial optimization and numerical analysis. Since he began his PhD in 2011, his research has focused on improving the running time for solving classic problems in algorithmic graph theory while using and improving tools ranging from convex analysis to data structures to spectral graph theory. 

Anthony Soltis, MIT

Anthony is a fourth year graduate student in the department of Biological Engineering at MIT where he works in the field of systems biology with advisor Ernest Fraenkel. Anthony graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering before moving to Cambridge. In his graduate research, Anthony uses network modeling approaches to integrate high-throughput metabolic, proteomic, and genomic data, with the goal of uncovering biological pathways altered by disease. More specifically, Anthony focuses on high-fat diet-induced hepatic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and is working to discover new biological pathways that may ultimately serve as new avenues for therapeutic intervention. 


Katrin Tiidenberg, Tallinn University

Katrin Tiidenberg is a PhD student at Tallinn University, Institute of International and Social studies. Her dissertation is an ethnographic take on how online experience informs our sense of self based on a community of NSFW self-shooters and bloggers on and is supervised by prof. Airi-Alina Allaste and dr. Nancy Baym. She lectures in Sociology, Methods of Media Research, Qualitative Methods and Basics of Internet Studies. Her research interests are sexuality, embodiment, images, selfies and self-identity. 

  Chen Wang, Cornell
Chen Wang is a second year CS PhD student at Cornell University advised by Professor Ramin Zabih. He is working on learning and optimization problems of MRFs and their applications in computer vision. His general research interests include algorithm design and analysis, especially the approximation algorithms for hard combinatorial problems.  

Miaomiao Wen, CMU

Miaomiao Wen is a third-year PhD student in Language Technology Institute at CMU, advised by Carolyn Rose. She's interested in natural language processing, social media and MOOCs research.  Read more... 

  Tianfan Xue, MIT
Tianfan Xue is a Ph.D. student in MIT, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is mainly working on image processing and computer vision. Before that, he received the B.E. degree in computer science from Tsinghua University, and M.Phil. degree in computer vision from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is interesting in understanding high-level concepts in images and videos, like object boundary and category, scene labeling, and 3D shape and parts, from low-level image statistics. He has been working on 3D reconstruction from images and sketches, image super-solution, object tracking, and fluid motion estimation. Read more... 

Yufei Zhao, MIT

Yufei Zhao is a PhD student in Mathematics at MIT, advised by Jacob Fox. His research area is combinatorics. An underlying theme of his research is the relationship between structure and randomness. Recently he has worked on graph limits (i.e., the mathematical theory of very large networks) and additive combinatorics (e.g., the Green-Tao theorem on arithmetic progressions in the prime numbers). Yufei is a recipient of the 2013 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship. Read more... 


Kate Zyskowski, University of Washington

Kate Zyskowski is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Washington and also holds a M.S. in Education. Kate’s ethnographic research is based in Hyderabad, India and focuses on dynamics between local and international minority groups, higher education, and the production of identities along the axes of race, religion, and nationality in urban India. Kate is the recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Fellowship and the AIIS Junior Research Fellowship for her dissertation research. Kate will be working with Mary Gray and is primarily interested in methodologies for social media inclusion in ethnography and the uses of social media, and its attendant social effects, for minority politics and identities. 


Remote Researchers in Herzelia, Israel

Noam Nisan, Principal Researcher

Noam Nisan works on the border of Computer Science, Game theory, and Economic theory, and, in particular, in a sub-field that he has initiated, "Algorithmic Mechanism Design". He has previously worked on Computational complexity theory. Noam got his Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley and is a professor of Computer Science and a member of the Rationality Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His awards include the ACM distinguished dissertation, the Bruno award, and the Godel prize.  Read more... 


Moshe Tennenholtz, Principal Researcher

Moshe is a principal researcher with Microsoft Research and a full professor at the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, where he is an incumbent of the Sondheimer Chair. Moshe founded the first pure research group at the Microsoft Israel R&D Center, focusing on e-commerce and game theory, now part of MSR-NE. Moshe pioneered several lines of research in the interplay between artificial intelligence and game theory along 20+ years of research. He was also a co-founder and chief scientist of companies in the area of e-commerce. Read more...  


Elad Yom-Tov, Senior Researcher

Elad Yom-Tov is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New York. Before joining Microsoft he was with Yahoo Research, IBM Research (where he held the title of Master Inventor), and Rafael. His primary research interests are in Information Retrieval, large-scale Machine Learning, and Social Analysis. Dr. Yom-Tov studied at Tel-Aviv University and the Technion in Israel. He has published two books, over 60 papers (including 3 award-winning ones), and has 30 filed with 11 issued patents. The results of his research have flown at four times the speed of sound, enabled people to communicate with computers using only their brain-waves, and analyzed cellphone records of a significant portion of the worlds’ population. Read more...


Noga Alon, Weekly Visitor from Tel Aviv University

Noga Alon is a Baumritter Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He received his Ph. D. in Mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1983 and had visiting positions in various research institutes including MIT, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, IBM Almaden Research Center, Bell Laboratories, Bellcore and Microsoft Research. His research interests are mainly in Combinatorics, Graph Theory and their applications in Theoretical Computer Science. His main contributions include the study of expander graphs and their applications, the investigation of derandomization techniques, the foundation of streaming algorithms, the development and applications of algebraic and probabilistic methods in Discrete Mathematics and the study of problems in Information Theory, Social Choice, Combinatorial Geometry and Combinatorial Number Theory. He is a member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences and of the Academia Europaea, and received the Erdos Prize, the Feher Prize, the Polya Prize, the Bruno Memorial Award, the Landau Prize, the Goedel Prize, the Israel Prize and the EMET Prize.


Uriel Feige, Weekly Visitor from Weizmann

Uriel Feige holds the Lawrence G. Horowitz Professorial Chair at the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics in the Weizmann Institute. His general area of interest is that of theory of computing. Most of his work concerns coping with NP-hard problems, and includes the design and analysis of approximation algorithms, rigorous analysis of heuristics, and the study of limitations of these approaches. He shared the Gödel award in 2001, for work on the PCP theorem and hardness of approximation.


Michal Feldman, Weekly Visitor from Tel Aviv University

Michal Feldman is an Associate Professor at the School of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University, where she was also an Associate Professor until 2013. Her research focuses on the intersection of computer science, game theory and microeconomics. Her research has appeared in the leading journals and conferences in all of the above disciplines and has attracted some 2500 citations. She serves as an associate editor on the ACM Transactions on Computation and Economics, and on the journal Networks. She is the recipient of the Alon Fellowship and has been granted several grants, including ISF, Google, Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, and recently the prestigious ERC (European Research Council) grant. She has held visiting positions with the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard University and with Microsoft Research New England. 

Yannai Gonczarowski, Intern from Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Yannai Gonczarowski is a Ph.D. student at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics, the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering and the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, advised by Profs. Sergiu Hart and Noam Nisan. His research interests include game theory, combinatorics, epistemology and multi-agent systems. In concurrence with his scientific studies, he acquired a bachelor's degree as well as a master's degree, both in Classical Singing, at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Read more... 


Gil Kalai, Weekly Visitor from Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Gil Kalai, is a Professor of mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has a long term visiting position at Yale University. Kalai is a weekly visitor at the MSR subgroup in Isreal since 2008, and a devoted visitor/fan of the MSR groups in Seattle and New England since 1999. Kalai's research areas are Combinatorics and Convexity. He is interested in the combinatorial theory of convex polytopes, relations of combinatorics with topology and with Fourier analysis, Boolean functions, and threshold and isoperimetric phenomena. He is interested in applications to theoretical computer science, mathematical programming, probability theory, game theory, and economics. Kalai is the recipient of the 1992 Polya Prize, the 1993 Erdos Prize and the 1994 Fulkerson Prize. He was a cofounder of the center for theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics at the Hebrew University. He served in several scientific committees at the university, national and international levels, and he belongs to several editorial boards. In the last years he has been writing a scientific blog, and has been active in various Internet mathematical activities.

Kalai's blog: "Combinatorics and More"
Kalai's home page 


Tomer Koren, Intern from Technion

Tomer Koren is a PhD student at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Prof. Elad Hazan. His research interests include machine learning and convex optimization, with a particular focus on online learning, sequential decision making and the design of efficient, online algorithms. 


Omer Lev, Intern from Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Omer Lev is a PhD. student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, under the supervision of Prof. Jeff Rosenschein. His research focuses on the connection between mathematics and computer science with economics and human behavior, using the framework of game theory. In particular, he explores computational social choice, which deals with the way people (and complex systems and agents) make decisions, and auctions, which model some basic human interactions. 


Yishay Mansour, Weekly Visitor from Tel-Aviv University

Prof. Yishay Mansour got his PhD from MIT in 1990, following it he was a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard and a Research Staff Member in IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.  Since 1992 he is at Tel-Aviv University, where he is currently a Professor of Computer Science and has serves as the head of the School of Computer Science during 2000-2002.  Prof. Mansour has held visiting positions with Bell Labs, AT&T research Labs, IBM Research, and Google Research. Prof. Mansour has published over 50 journal papers and over 100 proceeding paper in various areas of computer science with special emphasis on communication networks machine learning, and algorithmic game theory. Prof. Mansour is currently an associate editor in a number of distinguished journals and has been on numerous conference program committees. He was both the program chair of COLT (1998) and served on the COLT steering committee. He has supervised over a dozen graduate students in various areas including communication networks, machine learning, algorithmic game theory and theory of computing.


Sigal Oren, Post-Doc

Sigal Oren received her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University, where she was advised by Jon Kleinberg. She is interested in understanding algorithmic aspects of social phenomena in social networks and in general. 


Fiana Raiber, Intern, Technion

Fiana Raiber is a Ph.D. student at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on information retrieval.  


Mariano Schain, Intern, Tel Aviv University

Mariano Schain is a PhD. student at Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Prof. Yishay Mansour. Mariano’s Machine Learning research focuses on Domain Adaptation and the theory and practice of strategies for Trading Agents (Taking part in the Ad-Auctions game of the Trading Agent Competition since 2010, recently winning the 2013 tournament). During the many years since receiving his M.Sc. degree, Mariano was a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Texas Instruments serving in TI’s Broadband group as Software Manager, Chief Software Architect, and Manager of Methodologies. To read more: 


Aviv Zohar, Weekly Visitor from Hebrew University

Aviv Zohar is a faculty member at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Prior to joining the Hebrew U, he did his postdoc at MSR Silicon Valley. He is interested in the study of multi-agent systems including topics on the border of economics and computer science, social networks and the analysis of incentives in communication protocols. 

Meet the Researchers