Prof. Nisheeth Vishnoi
B.Tech. 1999, Computer Science and Engineering

Prof. Nisheeth Vishnoi is Associate Professor in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and is an associate of the International Center for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore. Prior to joining EPFL, he worked at Microsoft Research and IBM Research. He also held visiting positions at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing in Berkeley and University of California Berkeley.

Prof. Vishnoi obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay in 1999 and earned his PhD in the Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization program at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA in 2004. His research focuses both on foundational problems in algorithms, complexity and optimization, and on how computation can be used to gain insights into processes in nature and society. A recurring theme in his work has been to make surprising, deep and elegant connections between disparate areas of computer science, mathematics and the sciences.

Prof. Vishnoi is also leading efforts to build bridges between theoretical computer science and biology, and was a co-organizer for the first Dagstuhl workshop on “Evolution and Computing”, the chair for the EPFL Research Day on “The Computational Universe”, and a founder of “Off the Convex Path”, a blog on how intractability is overcome in nature and the real-world.

Prof. Vishnoi has authored two monographs, “Lx=b” on Laplacian solvers and their algorithmic applications and “Faster Algorithms via Approximation Theory” and a survey on convex optimization. These present techniques and results play a crucial role in the emerging theory of fast algorithms and are being used in courses at universities around the world.

He has received the Best Paper Award at FOCS in 2005 and the IBM Research Pat Goldberg Memorial Award for 2006 for his work on the Unique Games Conjecture. He is also the recipient of the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Medal for 2011.

Special Memories

“I fondly remember my professors who taught me the virtues of looking at the world, however unstructured, rigorously”