Samuel Hopkins

PhD Candidate, Cornell University
(graduating May 2018)

algorithms, theoretical machine learning, semidefinite programming, sum of squares optimization, convex hierarchies, hardness of approximation

CV (pdf)

Supported by a Microsoft PhD Fellowship, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and a Cornell University Fellowship.




The power of SoS for detecting hidden structures. Samuel B. Hopkins, Pravesh K. Kothari, Aaron Potechin, Prasad Raghavendra, Tselil Schramm, David Steurer. FOCS 2017.

Efficient Bayesian estimation from few samples: community detection and related problems. Samuel B. Hopkins, David Steurer. FOCS 2017.


A nearly tight sum-of-squares lower bound for the planted clique problem. Boaz Barak, Samuel B. Hopkins, Jonathan Kelner, Pravesh K. Kothari, Ankur Moitra, Aaron Potechin. FOCS 2016, inivted to special issue. arxiv video slides (pdf)

Fast spectral algorithms from sum-of-squares proofs: tensor decomposition and planted sparse vectors. Samuel B. Hopkins, Tselil Schramm, Jonathan Shi, David Steurer. STOC 2016. arxiv slides (pptx)

On the integrality gap of degree-4 sum of squares for planted clique Samuel B. Hopkins, Pravesh K. Kothari, Aaron Potechin, Tselil Schramm, Prasad Raghavendra. SODA 2016, invited to special issue. arxiv 1 (Hopkins-Kothari-Potechin version) and arxiv 2 (Raghavendra-Schramm version)


Tensor principal component analysis via sum-of-squares proofs. Samuel B. Hopkins, Jonathan Shi, David Steurer. COLT 2015, 20 minute presentation. arxiv


Kolmogorov Complexity, Circuits, and the Strength of Formal Theories of Arithmetic Eric Allender, George Davie, Luke Friedman, Samuel B. Hopkins, Iddo Tzameret. Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science. eccc


324 Gates Hall
samhop at cs dot cornell dot edu