About the Authors
Venkatesan Guruswami
Venkatesan Guruswami
Associate professor
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Venkatesan Guruswami, or Venkat, as his colleagues call him, received his Bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras in 1997. He is grateful to his undergraduate research advisor C. Pandu Rangan for initiating him to the joys of theoretical computer science. Venkat received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001. He was fortunate to be advised by Madhu Sudan, with whom he enjoyed collaboration on a number of topics, most notably on list decoding.

Since 2008, Venkat has been on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Earlier, he was a faculty member at the University of Washington. Venkat was a Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley during 2001-02, and was a member of the School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study during 2007-08.

Venkat is interested in several topics in theoretical computer science, including algorithmic and algebraic coding theory, approximability of fundamental optimization problems, pseudorandomness, probabilistically checkable proofs, computational complexity theory, and algebraic algorithms.

Venkat currently serves on the editorial boards of the SIAM Journal on Computing, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and the ACM Transactions on Computation Theory. He was recently program committee chair for the 2012 Computational Complexity conference. Venkat is a recipient of the Presburger award, Packard Fellowship, Sloan Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, ACM's Doctoral Dissertation Award, and the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award.

In his (sadly limited) spare time, Venkat enjoys traveling, ethnic vegetarian food, racquet sports, hiking/running within his humble limits, and listening to Carnatic music.

Ali Kemal Sinop
Ali Kemal Sinop
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Ali Kemal Sinop received his Bachelor's degree from Bilkent University, Turkey in 2004 and his Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. He worked at Siemens Corporate Research from 2005 to 2007. He obtained his Ph.D. from C.M.U. in 2012; his advisor was Venkatesan Guruswami. His thesis focused on the use of semi-definite programming hierarchies for various graph partitioning problems. During 2012--2013, he was a postdoc at the Center for Computational Intractability, Princeton University. He will be a postdoc at the School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study during 2013--2014.

His current research interests are in the use of convex relaxation hierarchies for basic graph partitioning problems.