Alex

Alexandra Kolla

I am an Associate Professor at the Computer Science Department at CU Boulder.
I got my PhD at U.C. Berkeley. My advisor was Umesh Vazirani. After that, I did a postdoc at the Institute for Advanced Study and at Microsoft Research in Redmond. Before joining CU Boulder, I was a professor at UIUC.

Research interests: Spectral Graph Theory, Algorithms, Complexity, Convex Programming, Quantum Computing.

I am particularly interested in the use of spectral methods in graph algorithms
and more so in developing new spectral techniques that use the full power
of graph spectra (for example, see this paper). I believe that such techniques
will help shed light into various unanswered complexity questions, like
the Unique Games Conjecture.

Contact Information:
Alexandra.kolla [at] colorado [dot] edu
#122 ECES
Engineering Building,

CU Boulder Campus

Teaching at CU

Spring 2020, Introduction to Quantum Computing, CSCI/PHYS 3090.

Fall 2019, Introduction to the Theory of Computation, CSCI 5444.

Fall 2018, Complexity Theory, CSCI 7000-005.

Spring 2018, Discrete Structures, CSCI 2824.

      Papers

      1. Efficient algorithms for the Potts model on small-set expanders. With Charles Carlson, Ewan Davies.
        Submitted, 2020.

      2. Statistical Physics Algorithms for Unique Games. With Matthew Coulson, Ewan Davies, Viresh Patel, Guus Regts.
        Submitted, 2020.

      3. Spectral Aspects of Symmetric Matrix Signings. With Charles Carlson, Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran, Hsien-Chih Chang and Naonori Kakimura.
        Published in the Journal of Discrete Optimization, Volume 37, 2020. Conference version in Proceedings of MCFCS, 2019: 44th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science.

      4. A Ramsey-Type theorem on the Max-Cut value of d-Regular graphs. With Charles Carlson, Ray Li, Nitya Mani, Benny Sudakov, Luca Trevisan.
        To Appear, LATIN 2020.

      5. On the Expansion of Group-Based Lifts. With Naman Agarwal, Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran and Vivek Madan.
        Published at SIDMA, Volume 33, Issue 3, 2019.

      6. Invertibility and Largest Eigenvalue of Symmetric Matrix Signings. With Charles Carlson, Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran and Hsien-Chih Chang.
        In Proceedings of MCFCS, 2019: 44th International Symposium on Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science.

      7. Optimal Lowerbounds for Scketching Graph Cuts. With Charles Carlson, Nikhil Srivastava, and Luca Trevisan.
        To Appear in SODA, 2019.

      8. Dimension-Free \Ell_p-Maximal Inequalities in Z_{m+1}^n. With Jordan Greenblatt and Ben Krause.
        To Appear, Journal of International Mathematics Research Notices, 2018.

      9. Spectrally Robust Graph Isomorphism. With Yannis Koutis, Vivek Madan, Ali Sinop.
        ICALP, 2018.

      10. On the Expansion of Group-Based Lifts. With Naman Agarwal, Karthekeyan Chandrasekaran and Vivek Madan.
        RANDOM, 2017.

      11. Measuring and Understanding Throughput of Network Topologies. With Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, Ankit Singla and P. Brighten Godfrey.
        ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis 2016 (SC'16).

      12. Approximation of Non-Boolean 2-CSP. With Guy Kindler and Luca Trevisan.
        SODA, 2016.

      13. Multisection in the Stochastic Block Model Using Semidefinite Programming. With Naman Agarwal, Afonso Bandeira and Konstantinos Koiliaris.
        Book chapter in the book ``Compressed Sensing and its Applications'', Birkhauser; Auflage, 2016.

      14. Unique Games on The Hypercube. With Naman Agarwal, Guy Kindler and Luca Trevisan.
        Published in The Chicago Journal of Theoretical Computer Science, 2014.

      15. Measuring and Understanding Throughput of Network Topologies. With Sanjeetha Abdu Jyothi, Ankit Singla and Brighten Godfrey.
        Short Paper, SIGMETRICS 2014.

      16. Small Lifts of Expander Graphs are Expanding. With Naman Agarwal and Vivek Madhan.
        Submitted, 2014.

      17. High Throughput Data Center Topology Design.
        With Ankit Singla and Brighten Godfrey.
        NSDI 2014.

      18. Specta of Random Graphs With Planted Partitions.
        With Sanjoy Dasgupta and Konstantinos Koiliaris.
        Manuscript, 2013.

      19. Maximal Inequality for Sperical Means on the Hypercube.
        With Aram Harrow and Leonard Schulman.
        Published in the Special Issue of the Journal of Theory of Computing, 2013.
        Appeared on popular mathematics blog.

      20. How to Play Unique Games Against a Semi-Random Adversary.
        With Konstantin Makarychev and Yury Makarychev.
        FOCS 2011.

      21. Sparsest Cut on quotients of the hypercube.
        With James Lee.
        CATS 2011.

      22. Spectral Algorithms for Unique Games.
        CCC 2010. Invited to CCC 2010 journal, Special Issue.

      23. Subgraph Sparsification and Nearly Optimal Ultrasparsifiers.
        With Yury Makarychev, Amin Saberi, Shang-hua Teng.
        STOC 2010.

      24. Unique Games on Expanding Constraint Graphs are Easy.
        With Sanjeev Arora, Subhash Khot, David Steurer, Madhur Tulsiani and Nisheeth Vishnoi.
        STOC 2008.

      25. Playing Unique Games Using Graph Spectra.
        With Madhur Tulsiani.
        Manuscript, 2007.

      26. Making classical honest verifier protocols secure against quantum attacks.
        with Sean Hallgren, Pranab Sen and Shengyu Zhang.
        ICALP 2008, BEST PAPER AWARD FOR TRACK C.

      27. On parallel composition of zero-knowledge proofs with black-box quantum simulators
        with Rahul Jain, Gatis Midrijanis, and Ben Reichardt.
        QIC Journal, 2007.

      P.h.D Thesis

      1. Merging Techniques for Combinatorial Optimization: Spectral Graph Theory and Semidefinite Programming.

      Past Students

        1. Naman Agarwal: Masters Student, UIUC, 2012 - 2014.
        2. David Hannasch: Masters Student, UIUC, 2012 - 2014.
        3. Konstantinos Koiliaris: PhD Student, UIUC, 2013 - 2016.
        4. Hsien Chih-Chang: Research Assistant, 2015-2017.

      Current Students

        1. Charles Carlson: PhD, CU Boulder Student, 2016 - Present.
        2. Steven Kordonowy: PhD Student, CU Boulder,  2019 - Present.
        3. Abhishek Lolage: Masters Student, CU Boulder,  2019 - Present.

      Postdocs

        1. Ali Kemal Sinop, UIUC 2015 - 2017.
        2. Nathan Lindzey, CU Boulder 2019 - present.
        3. Eric Reckwerdt, CU Boulder 2019 - present.
        4. Ewan Davies, CU Boulder 2019 - present.

         

      Program Comittees

      1. SODA 2014
      2. FOCS 2016
      3. FOCS 2018
      4. FOCS 2020