Prof. Moses Charikar

Professor Moses Charikar works as the Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. Prior to joining Stanford, he had spent a year in the research group at Google, and was on the Computer Science faculty at Princeton University for 14 years.

Professor Charikar completed his B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1995. He earned his doctorate in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2000.

Professor Charikar works on designing algorithms that compute approximate solutions. These are important for hard optimization problems where algorithms that compute exact solutions are not known and considered unlikely. Also, in a host of “big data” settings, the massive size of the data makes traditional algorithms impractical and one must resort to approximate solutions. His work advances these notions of approximation and makes connections between them.


He has earned a number of distinctions during his career including best paper award at FOCS 2003 for his work on dimension reduction. In 2012, he was awarded the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for his work on locality sensitive hashing. He was also named a Simons Investigator in theoretical computer science in 2014 at the University of California Berkeley.

Special Memories

“I was at IIT Bombay from 1991 to 1995. Those were formative years in my life. My professors, especially Prof. Sundar Vishwanathan and Prof. Ajit Diwan kindled my interest in theoretical computer science where I found a happy blend of computer science and mathematics. I remember the all-nighters we pulled, completing course projects just before the deadline or rehearsing for the performing arts festival. Those were some carefree years —- I have fond memories of my batchmates, cack sessions with my wingmates in Hostel 7, and nightly jaunts to chinco”
----Prof. Moses Charikar