Jennifer Tour Chayes

Picture of Jennifer ChayesJennifer Tour Chayes is Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which she co-founded in 2008, and Microsoft Research New York City, which she co-founded in 2012. Chayes was Research Area Manager for Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science and Cryptography at Microsoft Research Redmond until 2008. Chayes joined Microsoft Research in 1997, when she co-founded the Theory Group. Her 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 about 125 scientific papers and the co-inventor of about 30 patents.

Chayes has many ties to the academic community. She was for many years Professor of Mathematics at UCLA. She serves on numerous institute boards, advisory committees and editorial boards, including the Turing Award Selection Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Board of Trustees of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, the Advisory Boards of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus, and Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology. Chayes is a past Chair of the Mathematics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past Vice-President of the American Mathematical Society.

Chayes received her B.A. in biology and physics at Wesleyan University, where she graduated first in her class, and her Ph.D. in mathematical physics at Princeton. She did her postdoctoral work in the mathematics and physics departments at Harvard and Cornell. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Sloan Fellowship, and the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. Chayes has recently been the recipient of many leadership awards including the Leadership Award of Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology, the Leading Women Award of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, the Women to Watch Award of the Boston Business Journal, and the Women of Leadership Vision Award of the Anita Borg Institute. She has twice been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Chayes is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Fields Institute, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Mathematical Society. She is a National Associate of the National Academies, and an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Chayes is best known for her work on phase transitions, both in mathematical physics and in computer science, and for being one of leaders in the emerging field of network science. Chayes' early work includes seminal results on the phase transition in percolation, a proof of the Harris criterion for correlation lengths in critical disordered systems, one of first rigorous analyses of the spin glass transition, and a characterization of the phase transition in the long-range one-dimensional Ising model, solving a long-standing problem posed by Dyson.

Since the late 1990's, Chayes' work has focused on introducing and extending methods from statistical physics in theoretical computer science. In particular, she is known for laying the foundation for the study of phase transitions in problems in discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science; this study is now giving rise to some of the fastest known algorithms for fundamental problems in combinatorial optimization, including recently algorithms for determining gene regulatory networks. She is also one of the world's experts in the modeling and analysis of random, dynamically growing networks, which are used to model the Internet, the World Wide Web and a host of other technological and social networks. Chayes is the co-inventor of many network algorithms, and one of the founders of the field of graph convergence and graph limits.  Chayes has also done a good deal of work in algorithmic game theory, including game theory on networks.

Among Chayes' contributions to Microsoft technologies are the development of methods to analyze the structure and behavior of various networks, the design of auction algorithms, and the design and analysis of various business models for the online world.

Chayes lives with her husband, Christian Borgs, who also happens to be her principal scientific collaborator. In her spare time, she enjoys overworking.

For more details, download CV here.

Selected Publications

Network Modeling and Graph Theory

PDF Directed scale-free graphs (with B. Bollobas, C. Borgs and O. Riordan) Proceedings of the 14th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA), 132-139 (2003).
PDF Degree distribution of the FKP network model (with N. Berger, B. Bollobas, C. Borgs and O. Riordan) Proceedings of the 30th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP), 725-738, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2719 (2003).
PDF Exploring the community structure of newsgroups (with C. Borgs, M. Mahdian and A. Saberi) Proceedings of the 10th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge, Discovery and Data Mining (KKD), 783-787 (2004).
DATA Newsgroup cluster data referred to in the above paper.
PDF Competition-induced preferential attachment (with N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg) Proceedings of the 31st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP), 208-221, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3142 (2004)
PDF Degree distribution of competition-induced preferential attachment graphs (with N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg) Combinatorics,  Probability and Computing 14, 697-721 (2005).
PDF Emergence of tempered preferential attachment from optimization (with N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 104, 6112-6117 (2007), cover article.
PDF Fitting the WHOIS Internet data A short note with technical details left out in the above paper.
PDF First to market is not Everything: An analysis of preferential attachment with fitness (with C. Borgs, C. Daskalakis and S.Roch) Proceedings of the 39th annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC), 135-144 (2007).

Convergent Graph Sequences

PDF Counting graph homomorphisms (with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, B. Szegedy and K. Vesztergombi) in Topics in Discrete Mathematics (eds. M. Klazar, J. Kratochvil, M. Loebl, J. Matousek, R. Thomas, P. Valtr), 315-371, Springer (2006).
PDF Graph limits and parameter testing (with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, B. Szegedy and K. Vesztergombi) Proceedings of the 38rd Annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC), 261-270 (2006).
PDF Convergent sequences of dense graphs I: Subgraph frequencies, metric properties and testing (with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, and K. Vesztergombi) Advances in Math. 219, 1801-1851 (2008).
PDF Convergent sequences of dense graphs II: Multiway cuts and statistical physics (with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, and K. Vesztergombi) Ann. of Math. 176, 151-219 (2012).
PDF Moments of two-variable functions and the uniqueness of graph limits (with C. Borgs and L. Lovasz) GAFA 19, 1597-1619 (2010).
PDF Limits of randomly grown graph sequences (with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, K. Veszterbombi) Eur. J. Comb. 32, 985-999 (2011).
PDF Left and right convergence of graphs with bounded degree (with C. Borgs, J. Kahn, L. Lovasz) Random Struct. Alg. 42, 1-28 (2013).
PDF Asymptotic behavior and distributional limits of preferential attachment graphs (with N. Berger, C. Borgs, A. Saberi) Ann. Probab. 42(1), 1-40 (2014).
PDF Convergent sequences of sparse graphs: A large deviations approach (with C. Borgs, and D. Gamarnik) preprint (2013).
PDF An Lp theory of sparse graph convergence I: limits, sparse random graph models, and power law distributions (with C. Borgs, H. Cohn and Y. Zhao) preprint (2014).

Processes on Networks and Graph Algorithms

PDF On the spread of viruses on the Internet (with N. Berger, C. Borgs and A. Saberi) Proceedings of the 16th ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA), 301-310 (2005).
PDF Local computation of pagerank contributions (with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, J. Hopcroft, V. Mirrokni and S. Teng) Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW), 150-165 (2007).
PDF Robust PageRank and locally computable spam detection features (with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, J. E. Hopcroft, K. Jain, V.S. Mirrokni and S.H. Teng) AIRWeb 2008, 69-76 (2008).
PDF On the stability of web crawling and web search (with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, J. E. Hopcroft, V.S. Mirrokni and S.H. Teng) ISAAC 2008, 680-691 (2008).
PDF How to distribute antidote to control epidemics (with C. Borgs, A. Ganesh, and A. Saberi) Random Struct. Algorithms 37, 204-222 (2010).
PDF We know who you followed last summer: inferring social link creation times in twitter (with B. Meeder, B. Karrer, A. Sayedi, R. Ravi and C. Borgs) Proceedings of the 20th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW), 517-526 (2011).
PDF A sublinear time algorithm for PageRank computations (with C. Borgs, M. Brautbar and S.-H. Teng) Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW), 41-53 (2012).
PDF The power of local information in social networks (with C. Borgs, M. Brautbar, S. Khanna, B. Lucier) Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Internet and Network Economics (WINE), 406 - 419 (2012).
PDF Finding endogenously formed communities (with M.-F. Balcan, M. Braverman, C. Borgs and S.-H. Teng) 24th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA), 767-783 (2013).
PDF Multi-Scale Matrix Sampling and Sublinear-Time PageRank (with C. Borgs, M. Brautbar and S.-H. Teng) Preprint (2013), to appear in Internet Mathematics http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15427951.2013.802752 (2013).
PDF Maximizing social influence in nearly optimal time (with C. Borgs, M. Brautbar and B. Lucier) Proceedings of the 25nd Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA), 946-957 (2014).

Game Theory, Auctions and Recommendation Systems

PDF Multi-unit auctions with budget-constrained bidders (with C. Borgs, N. Immorlica, M. Mahdian and A. Saberi) Proceedings of the 6th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC), 44-51 (2005).
PDF Bid optimization in online advertisement auctions (with C. Borgs, O. Etesami, N. Immorlica and M. Mahdian) 2nd Workshop on Sponsored Search Auctions (2006) and Proceedings of the 16th international conference on World Wide Web (WWW), 531-540 (2007).
PDF The myth of the folk theorem (with C. Borgs, N. Immorlica, A. Kalai, V. Mirrokni and C. Papadimitriou) Proceedings of the 40th Annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC) (2008).
PDF Trust-based recommendation systems: An axiomatic approach (with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, U.Feige, A. Flaxman, A. Kalai, V. Mirrokni and M. Tennenholtz) Proceedings of the 17th international conference on World Wide Web (WWW), 199-208 (2008).
PDF A novel approach to propagating distrust (with C. Borgs, A. Kalai, A. Malekiany, M. Tennenholtz) Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Internet and Network Economics (WINE) 87-105 (2010).
PDF Game-theoretic models of information overload in social networks (with C. Borgs, B. Karrer, B. Meeder, R. Ravi, R. Reagans and A. Sayedi) Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW) 146-161 (2010).
PDF Fast convergence of natural bargaining dynamics in exchange networks (with Y. Kanoria, M. Bayati, C. Borgs and A. Montanari) Proceedings of the 22nd ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA) 1518-1537 (2011).
PDF The hitchhiker's guide to affiliation networks: A game-theoretic approach (with C. Borgs, J. Ding and B. Lucier) Proceedings of the 2nd Symposium on Innovations in Computer Science (ICS) 389-400 (2011).
PDF Pricing and queuing (with C. Borgs, S. Doroudi, M. Harchol-Balter, K. Xu) ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review 40(3): 71-73 (2012).
PDF Optimal multi-period pricing with service guarantees (with O. Candogan, C. Borgs, I. Lobel, and H. Nazerzadeh)  to appear in Management Science http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2013.1839 (2013).
PDF Priority pricing in queues with a continuous distribution of customer valuations (S. Doroudi, M. Akan, M. Harchol-Balter, J. Karp, C. Borgs, J.T. Chayes) Preprint 2013
PDF The optimal admission threshold in observable queues with state dependent pricing (with C. Borgs, S. Doroudi, M. Harchol-Balter, K. Xu) Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences 28, 101-110 (2014).
PDF Bargaining dynamics in exchange networks (with M. Bayati, C. Borgs, Y. Kanoria and A. Montanari) to appear in J. Econ. Theory, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jet.2014.02.007 (2014).

Phase Transitions in Combinatorics and Computer Science

PDF Uniform boundedness of crossing probabilities implies hyperscaling (with C. Borgs, H. Kesten and J. Spencer) Random Structures and Algorithms 15, 368-413 (1999).
PDF The birth of the infinite cluster: Finite-size scaling in percolation (with C. Borgs, H. Kesten and J. Spencer) Communications in Mathematical Physics 224, 153-204 (2001).
PDF The scaling window of the 2-SAT transition (with B. Bollobas, C. Borgs, J.H. Kim and D.B. Wilson) Random Structures and Algorithms 18, 201-256 (2001).
PDF Sharp threshold and scaling window for the integer partitioning problem (with C. Borgs and B. Pittel) Proceedings of the 33rd annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC), 330-336 (2001).
PDF Phase transition and finite-size scaling for the integer partitioning problem (with C. Borgs and B. Pittel) Random Structures and Algorithms 19, 247-288 (2001).
PDF Constrained integer partitions (with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and B. Pittel) Proceedings of the 6th Latin American Symposium on Theoretical Informatics (LATIN), 59-68, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2976 (2004).
PDF Phase diagram for the constrained integer partitioning problem (with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and B. Pittel) Random Structures and Algorithms 24, 315-380 (2004).
PDF Random subgraphs of finite graphs: I. The scaling window under the triangle condition (with C. Borgs, R. van der Hofstad, G. Slade and J. Spencer) Random Structures and Algorithms 27, 137-184 (2005).
PDF Random subgraphs of finite graphs: II. The lace expansion and the triangle condition (with C. Borgs, R. van der Hofstad, G. Slade and J. Spencer) Annals of Probability 33, 1886-1944 (2005).
PDF Random subgraphs of finite graphs: III. The phase transition for the n-cube (with C. Borgs, R. van der Hofstad, G. Slade and J. Spencer) Combinatorica 26, 395-410 (2006).
PDF The Kesten-Stigum reconstruction bound is tight for roughly symmetric binary channels (with C. Borgs, E. Mossel and S. Roch) 47th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS), 518-530 (2006).
PDF Proof of the local REM conjecture for number partitioning I: Constant energy scales (with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and C. Nair) Random Structures and Algorithms 34, 217-240 (2009).
PDF Proof of the local REM conjecture for number partitioning II: Growing energy scales (with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and C. Nair) Random Structures and Algorithms 34, 241-284 (2009).
PDF Percolation on dense graph sequences (with B. Bollobas, C. Borgs and O. Riordan) Ann. Probab. 38, 150-183 (2010).

Belief Propagation and Applications in Systems Biology

PDF Statistical mechanics of Steiner trees (with M. Bayati, A. Braunstein, A. Ramezanpour, and R. Zecchina) Physical Review Letters 101, 037208 1-4 (2008), reprinted in Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research 16, August 1 (2008).
PDF Belief-Propagation for weighted b-matchings on arbitrary graphs and its relation to linear programs with integer solutions (with M. Bayati, C. Borgs and R. Zecchina) SIAM Journal of Discrete Mathematics, 25, 989-1011 (2011).
PDF Finding undetected protein associations in cell signaling by belief propagation (with M. Bailly-Bechet, C. Borgs, A. Braunstein, A.Dagkessamanskaia, J. Francois, and R. Zecchina). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 108, 882-887 (2011).
PDF Simultaneous reconstruction of multiple signaling pathways via the prize-collecting Steiner forest problem (N.Tuncbag, A.Braunstein, A.Pagnani, S.C.Huang, J.Chayes, C.Borgs, R.Zecchina, E.Fraenkel), 16th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), 287 - 301 (2012) and Journal of Computational Biology 20, 124-136 (2013).
PDF Sharing information to reconstruct patient-specific pathways in heterogeneous diseases (A. Gitter, A. Braunstein, A. Pagnani, C. Baldassi, C. Borgs, J. Chayes, R. Zecchina, E. Fraenkel). Proceedings of the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing, 39-50 (2014).

Monte Carlo Markov Chains

PDF Torpid mixing of some Monte Carlo Markov Chain algorithms in statistical physics (with C. Borgs, A. Frieze, J.H. Kim, P. Tetali, E. Vigoda and V. Vu) Proceedings of the 40th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS), 218-229 (1999).
PDF On the sampling problem for H-colorings on the hypercubic lattice (with C. Borgs, M. Dyer and P. Tetali) in Graphs, Morphisms and Statistical Physics (eds. J Nesetril and P Winkler),  DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science 63, 13-28, American Mathematical Society (2004).
PDF Tight bounds for mixing of the Swendsen-Wang algorithm at the Potts transition point (with C. Borgs and P. Tetali) to appear in Probab. Theory Relat. Fields. Preprint (2008).

Zeros of Complex Partition Functions and Lee-Yang Theory

PDF Gibbs states of graphical representations of the Potts model with external fields (with M. Biskup, C. Borgs and R. Kotecky) Journal of Mathematical Physics 41, 1170-1210 (2000).
PDF General theory of Lee-Yang zeros in models with first-order phase transitions (with M. Biskup, C. Borgs, L. Kleinwaks and R. Kotecky) Physical Review Letters 84, 4794-4797 (2000).
PDF Partition function zeros at first-order phase transitions: A general analysis (with M. Biskup, C. Borgs, L. Kleinwaks and R. Kotecky) Communications in Mathematical Physics 251, 79-131 (2004).
PDF Partition function zeros at first-order phase transitions: Piorogov-Sinai theory (with M. Biskup, C. Borgs and R. Kotecky) Journal of Statistical Physics 116, 97-155 (2004).
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