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July 31, 2023
Santosh Vempala has been named a 2023 Simons Investigator in theoretical computer science by the Simons Foundation.
The Simons Investigator award supports “outstanding theoretical scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field, and effectively mentoring junior scientists.”
Vempala is the Frederick Storey II Chair of Computing and Distinguished Professor in the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech, with courtesy appointments in the School of Mathematics and H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
He will receive $150,000 per year for five years from the award, which could be renewed for another five years. Not constrained to any one project, the funding is meant to empower award recipients to push forward on any foundational challenges to computer science that are related to their interests.
For Vempala, who also serves as Director of the Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization Program at Georgia Tech, these challenges have to do with geometry and randomness.
“Some of the most exciting problems in science are those related to efficient algorithms. Computer science really has uncovered fundamentally new questions but also provided novel perspectives on classical problems in mathematics,” Vempala said. “We are yet to understand extremely basic questions such as how best to solve linear systems and linear programs.”