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Kevin Tian

kjtian (at) stanford (dot) edu

About me: I am a fifth-year Ph.D. student with the Theory Group in Computer Science at Stanford (since 2016). I am broadly interested in the interplay between continuous optimization and algorithm design in areas such as spectral graph theory, stochastic processes, high-dimensional statistics, convex geometry, and machine learning. I am fortunate to be advised by Aaron Sidford. I completed undergraduate studies in Computer Science and Math at MIT from 2012-2015. I also care greatly about STEM education, diversity, and related outreach.

In my free time, I enjoy dabbling in guitar and piano (and various quirkier instruments), running and biking (slowly), and watching an unhealthy amount of semi-educational YouTube videos. I am an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia Eagles, and Texas Longhorns. I am from the beautiful city of Austin, Texas, home of the best barbecue in the world. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we share interests.

Website design credits go to Sunny Tian (check out some of her awesome work here). Photo credits go to Sonya Han.

My awesome (frequent) collaborators: Yair Carmon, Arun Jambulapati, Yujia Jin, Yin Tat Lee, Jerry Li, Swati Padmanabhan, Ruoqi Shen, Ilias Diakonikolas, Daniel Kane, Daniel Kongsgaard



Earlier published work

Teaching and professional service

At Stanford, I was a graduate teaching assistant for MS&E 213/CS 269O: Introduction to Optimization Theory and MS&E 313/CS 269G: Almost Linear Time Graph Algorithms. At MIT, I was a teaching assistant for 6.006: Introduction to Algorithms. In the 2018-19 school year, I ran the Stanford Optimization for Algorithm Design reading group. I was the Stanford Theory Lunch organizer for Spring 2020.

Reviewer for: STOC 2019, COLT 2019, STOC 2020, ICALP 2020, ICML 2020, NeurIPS 2020, SODA 2021, STACS 2021, STOC 2021


I am passionate about outreach, both educational and for diversity and community service purposes, and am fortunate to have been a member of many awesome groups, which have taught me a lot and helped shape my perspectives. At Stanford, I am an organizer of the Algorithms and Friends initiative, and previously was a research instructor for AI4ALL (formerly SAILORS), and a teacher for Stanford Splash. At MIT, I was a teacher for CETI and MIT Splash, a counselor for Camp Kesem and the Freshman Arts Program, an orientation leader, and Brotherhood Development Director of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. In high school, I attended the Honors Summer Math Camp, which was my first foray into the world of research.