The theory of computing is the study of efficient computation, models of computational processes, and their limits. Research at Cornell spans all areas of the theory of computing and is responsible for the development of modern computational complexity theory, the foundations of efficient graph algorithms, and the use of applied logic and formal verification for building reliable systems. In keeping with our tradition of opening new frontiers in theory research, we have emerged in recent years as a leader in exploring the interface between computation and the social sciences.

In addition to its depth in the central areas of theory, Cornell is unique among top research departments in the fluency with which students can interact with faculty in both theoretical and applied areas, and work on problems at the critical juncture of theory and applications.


  • Jayadev AcharyaJayadev Acharya: Information theory, machine learning, and algorithmic statistics.
  • Siddhartha BanerjeeSiddhartha Banerjee: Stochastic Modeling, Design of Scalable Algorithms, Matching Markets and Social Computing, Control of Information-Flows, Learning and Recommendation.
  • Eshan ChattopadhyayEshan Chattopadhyay : Randomness and Computation, Computational Complexity theory, Cryptography.
  • Goldfeld Ziv Goldfeld: Information theory, mathematical statistics, optimal transport, and statistical learning theory.
  • halpern Joe Halpern: Reasoning about knowledge and uncertainty, distributed computing, causality, security, game theory.
  • hopcroft John Hopcroft: Algorithms, information capture and access, random graphs and spectral methods.
  • Michael P. Kim: Foundations of responsible machine learning, algorithmic fairness, learning theory.
  • bkleinberg Bobby Kleinberg: Algorithms, game theory, learning, and networks.
  • jkleinberg Jon Kleinberg: Algorithms, social and information networks.
  • kozen Dexter Kozen: Computational complexity, program logic and semantics, computational algebra.
  • pass Rafael Pass: Cryptography and its interplay with computational complexity and game theory.
  • pass Thomas Ristenpart: Cryptography, computer security, technology abuse.
  • shmoys David Shmoys: Approximation algorithms, computational sustainability.
  • Sridharan Karthik Karthik Sridharan: Theoretical machine learning.
  • stephens-davidowitz Noah Stephens-Davidowitz: Theory, lattices, geometry, cryptography.
  • sun Wen Sun: Theoretical Reinforcement Learning and Machine Learning.
  • tardos Eva Tardos: Algorithms, algorithmic game theory.
  • williamson David Williamson: Approximation algorithms, information networks.
  • lee yu Christina Lee Yu: Algorithms, high dimensional statistics, sequential decision making, machine learning.
  • van zuylen Anke van Zuylen: Algorithms, combinatorial optimization.