Shayan has just finished his Ph.D. at Stanford. He will spend next year as a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley before joining us during the 2014-15 academic year. His research involves the development of provably efficient algorithms for problems that seem intractable. He has worked on the classical Traveling Salesman Problem (see an article about this work in Wired), on clustering in massive graphs using spectral methods, and on stochastic optimization. Along the way he has introduced many new techniques, like maximum entropy sampling and the use of higher eigenvalues of graphs, that can be used to tackle an array of other computational tasks. Shayan is also an avid fan of foreign cinema. His wife Farnaz Ronaghi is the co-founder of NovoEd, a massive online learning startup.
Zach will finish his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego this summer and join us soon thereafter. His research seeks to improve software reliability and security by developing new tools that help ensure correctness. His work on program verification has leveraged and extended a variety of technologies from the programming languages community, including theorem provers, SMT solvers, and type systems. He uses program verification to build systems with proven guarantees, most notably a web browser with a formal and machine-checked proof that different browser tabs cannot affect each other. A key technique in his work is identifying high-leverage interfaces at which to prove deep properties so that most of a system can remain untrusted without invalidating the proofs.
Welcome Shayan and Zach!