Professor James R. Lee, a member of the Allen School’s Theory of Computation group, has been named a Simons Investigator by the Simons Foundation’s Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Lee, whose research interests span algorithms, optimization, computational complexity theory, and related mathematical fields, is one of a small number of mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists recognized by the Simons Foundation this year.
The Simons Investigator program is designed to support outstanding scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field, and effectively mentoring junior scientists. Investigators receive $100,000 annually from the Foundation for a period of five to 10 years.
Lee has devoted his career to exploring the mathematical phenomena that underlie optimization problems and related computational processes. He was a co-recipient of the STOC 2015 Best Paper Award for work demonstrating the inherent limitations of semi-definite programs for solving NP-hard optimization problems. In selecting Lee for an Investigator Award, the Simons Foundation also cited his work on spectral algorithms for graph clustering problems and his application of novel tools from geometry and probability to the theory of computation.
Learn more about the 2017 Simons Investigators here.