Press release
March 31, 2010

UC Irvine Establishes Center for Algorithms and Theory of Computation

Irvine, Calif., March 31 &mdash The University of California, Irvine has established a Center for Algorithms and Theory of Computation to study theoretical computer science, which aims to understand the mathematical properties of computing problems. The Center will be housed in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, and directed by computer science professor David Eppstein. Associate Dean Michael Goodrich will serve as technical director.

Understanding the fundamental problems underlying computation theory will help researchers derive efficient and scalable solutions to these problems, as well as understand the limits of what is effectively computable under various models of computation.

"The Bren School has long been a leader in Algorithms and Theory of Computation, so it is great that this leadership is being recognized in the form of a center," said Goodrich. "I expect that this center will increase the Bren School's visibility in this area even more, which should result in increased participation from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting researchers, as well as fresh external funding opportunities."

The Bren School is home to nine faculty members who have specific focus algorithms and computational theory. In addition, the center will support the research of up to five graduate students and three post-doctoral researcher.

Bren School faculty members have made significant contributions to many topics in this field, including: Graph algorithms and graph drawing (computing with systems of pairwise interactions between objects such as web page links, protein interactions, or social networks); Computational geometry (computing with planar or spatial data); String and tree algorithms (for indexing and processing large textual and XML documents, and DNA sequence information); Data compression (computationally efficient methods for removing redundancy from stored information); and Online algorithms (automated decision making in the face of uncertainty) .

"In a world where we increasingly rely on computers to process massive amounts of data, to respond quickly and interactively, and to perform reliably in the face of unexpected inputs, it has become essential to have scalable algorithms with mathematical guarantees on their correctness and performance," said Eppstein. "UCI's researchers have made many important innovations in this area, and the synergy provided by this new center will help us continue to do so in the future."

Current research being conducted by Center faculty include scalable methods for the analysis of network-based data (David Eppstein and Michael Goodrich), applied cryptography (Stanislaw Jarecki), quantum computing (Sandy Irani), genomics and bioinformatics (Daniel Hirschberg), and transportation studies (Amelia Regan). For more information on the Center faculty and research, visit http://www.ics.uci.edu/~theory/.