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About me: I am a professor of Computer Science at Harvard University, and a member of the Harvard SEAS Theory of Computing group. Previously, I was a principal researcher at Microsoft Research New England, and before that I was an associate professor (with tenure) at Princeton University’s Computer Science department. I hold a Ph.D from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
DUS: I am co director of undergraduate studies (DUS) of Computer Science at Harvard together with Prof. Stephen Chong. Please email email@example.com for any DUS related matters. For information about the Computer Science concentration at Harvard see the page harvardcs.info. See also my contact information and office hours.
Current activities: Local co-organizer for the Women In Theory Workshop on June 2018 at Harvard. Trustee of the Computational Complexity Foundation. Member of the editorial board of the Theory of Computing Journal (ToC) and the Electronic Colloquium of Computational Complexity. Member of the Committee for the Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science (CATCS). I am a co organizer of the Harvard/MSR/MIT reading group. See my CV for past activities.
Current students: Zhixian Lei, Yueqi Sheng, Chi-Ning Chou
Current postdoc: Tselil Schramm (co hosted with Jon Kelner, Ankur Moitra and Pablo Parrilo of MIT)
Funding: I am currently supported by NSF awards CCF 1565264 and CNS 1618026 and a Simons Investigator Fellowship. I am grateful for past support by the NSF, as well as the Packard and Sloan foundations and the BSF.
I am working on a new book on “Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science”. Comments are welcome as issues/pull requests on the GitHub repository
In will be teaching CS 121 / CSCI-E121: Introduction to the Theory of Computation, as well as a Seminar on Physics and Computation in the fall of 2018.
I wrote a graduate textbook with Sanjeev Arora: Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach. I am currently writing an undergraduate textbook: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science. I also wrote extensive notes on the sum of squares algorithm (with David Steurer). I occasionally blog on the Windows on Theory blog.
Some surveys and essays I wrote are below. See here for more of my non-technical writing.
The Complexity of Public-Key Cryptography - survey/tutorial on the computational assumptions landscape of cryptogrpahy. Written in honor of Oded Goldreich’s 60th birthday.
Bayesianism, frequentism, and the planted clique, or do algorithms believe in unicorns?, April 2016. See also blog post on windows of theory blog and video of a talk at Northwestern.
Advice for the budding theorist, blog post on the Windows on Theory blog, November 2015
Sum-of-squares proofs and the quest toward optimal algorithms with David Steurer. Survey, also appeard in proceedings of ICM 2014. See also my seminar on this topic, as well as a video of a related talk at Harvard.
Structure vs Combinatorics in Computational Complexity, Windows on Theory blog, October 2013. See also adapted version in the bulletin of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science.
Truth vs. Proof - the Unique Games Conjecture and Feige’s Hypothesis, Windows on Theory blog, July 2012. See also adapted version in logic in computer science column of the bulletin of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science.
Here are some of the courses / lectures I (Co) taught (see here for all courses):
Harvard CS121: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science - Fall 2019, Fall 2018.
Harvard CS229r: Physics and Computation Seminar, Fall 2018.
Harvard CS127: Cryptography, Spring 2018.
Harvard CS229r / MIT 6.S898: Proofs, beliefs and algorithms through the lens of Sum of Squares - Fall 2016 - graduate course/seminar on the Sum of Squares algorithm.
Addis Coder 2016 -summer course on algorithms and coding for high school students in Ethiopia, August 2016, co taught with Timnit Gebru, Jelani Nelson and a wonderful team of TA’s.
Princeton COS 522 - (graduate) Computational Complexity - Spring 2009
|Email: . For Harvard related mails (apart from DUS), please use Any emails related to my role as DUS should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Please use or for reference letter or manuscript review requests respectively. (emails to these addresses are forwarded to my main inbox, but are also tagged appropriately so I don't lose track of them. Emails to the reference address are also forwarded to my faculty coordinator Allison Choat.)|
Upcoming office hours (in Maxwell Dworkin 329): (see all hours and schedule appointments)
|Physical Location: Office 329 (third floor) in Maxwell-Dworkin Hall, 33 Oxford Street, Cambrdige.|
|Mailing Address: Professor Boaz Barak, Maxwell-Dworkin Hall Room 329, 33 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.|
|Administrative assistant: Allison Choat, Maxwell-Dworkin, Room 353, email@example.com|
|Phone: 617-496-6257 (I prefer email)|