Date Posted: 10/26/2020

CS Field member, David Williamson, recently won the 2020 James M. and Marsha D. McCormick Advising Award from the Cornell College of Engineering. Williamson is a professor in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE). After graduate training at M.I.T., he completed a postdoc with √Čva Tardos, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Science and Chair. 

Williamson, who has been conducting research on the "traveling saleperson problem" since the 1980s was quoted on the topic in Quanta magazine. Reflecting on just-published research on "one of the most famous, long-standing problems in theoretical computer science," he commented: “This is a result I have wanted all my career." 

As Erica Klarreich notes: "The traveling salesperson problem is one of a handful of foundational problems that theoretical computer scientists turn to again and again to test the limits of efficient computation." The new result by Nathan Klein and fellow researchers is, for Williamson, “the first step towards showing that the frontiers of efficient computation are in fact better than what we thought."