Kiran Tomlinson

PhD Student, Computer Science

Cornell University


I’m a Computer Science PhD student at Cornell University advised by Austin Benson and currently working on models of human choice, especially their applications to social networks and large datasets. More broadly, I’m interested in understanding human behavior through algorithmic and machine learning methods, and in developing those methods.

I did my undergrad at Carleton College in the lovely town of Northfield, MN. At Carleton, I worked with David Liben-Nowell on algorithms for reconstructing the spread of chain-letter emails and Layla Oesper on problems related to inferring the evolutionary history of cancer tumors. My undergraduate capstone projects (“comps”) were a survey of blockchains, advised by Jeff Ondich, and lectures on the combinatorics of symmetric functions, advised by Eric Egge.

When away from my desk, I spend my time playing guitar, biking, flying quadcopters, and (when not in a global pandemic) playing pool. I have additional interests in spaceflight, Premier League football, and Formula 1.

Recent news

🗣 Dec ‘20 Gave a talk for the Ugander group @ Stanford SOAL on the LCL

🗣 Sep ‘20 Gave a talk @ NetSci SINM 2020 on context effects in triadic closure

🗣 Jul ‘20 Gave a talk @ ICML 2020 on choice set optimization

🗣 Jun ‘20 Gave a talk @ CPM 2020 on chain letter reconstruction

📝 May ‘20 Our paper on choice set optimization was accepted to ICML 2020!

All news

Collaboration Network

People are red, papers are blue.

Recent Posts

Town Hall Alerts

The Town Hall Project makes it easy to find local town halls with your state and federal representatives. To get this information, volunteers spend time searching through politicians’ Twitter feeds for town hall announcements. I wrote a script to help do this faster and less painfully.

CV of Failures

You may have heard of this before; academic websites, CVs, and Twitter feeds typically catalogue successes, obscuring the many failures and rejections that are a natural part of any academic career. Following many others, and in the spirit of openness, here is a CV of my own failures.

Site Graph

I really wanted to see the link graph of websites, but didn’t find user-friendly tools for doing this. So, I wrote my own. In this post, I describe how the script works, how to run it, how to customize the visualizations, and what issues I ran into along the way. Most importantly, I have some pretty pictures and an embedded interactive graph of this very site.