headshot of Alistair Sinclair

Research Expertise and Interest

algorithms, applied probability, statistics, random walks, Markov chains, computational applications of randomness, Markov chain Monte Carlo, statistical physics, combinatorial optimization

Research Description

Alistair Sinclair received his BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1982, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1988. After a short period on the faculty at Edinburgh, he moved to UC Berkeley in 1994, where he is now the Kikuo Ogawa and Kaoru Ogawa Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Statistics. He has held visiting positions at DIMACS, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Microsoft Research, Ecole Polytechnique, University of Paris-Orsay, University of Rome III and EPFL. His honors include the 1996 ACM-EATCS Gödel Prize (awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery and the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science) and the 2006 Fulkerson Prize (awarded by the Mathematical Programming Society and the American Mathematical Society). He has won three test-of-time awards, was an IMS Medallion Lecturer, and is a Fellow of the ACM.

His research interests focus on various applications of randomness in computer science, including randomized algorithms and Markov chain Monte Carlo, as well as on topics at the intersection of computer science and statistical physics. Alistair Sinclair was Founding Associate Director of the Simons Institute from 2012 to 2017, and was awarded the 2017 ACM-SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize for his accomplishments in this role.

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