Avrim Blum
Professor and Chief Academic Officer
Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC)
6045 S. Kenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
email: [firstname] at ttic.edu. Administrative Assistant: Mary Marre (773)834-1757.

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC or TTI-Chicago) is a PhD-granting computer science institute focusing in the areas of machine learning, algorithms, AI (robotics, natural language, speech, and vision) and computational biology, located on the University of Chicago campus. We are a bit like a self-contained, free-standing department of machine learning, algorithms, AI, and data science. We have tenure-track faculty (currently 12), limited-term research faculty (currently 10) and PhD students (currently 43). See also our colloquium, distinguished lectures, and young researcher seminar.

I am currently (Spring 2020) teaching TTIC 31250 - An Introduction to the Theory of Machine Learning (MW 3:00-4:20)


My main research interests are in machine learning theory, approximation algorithms, on-line algorithms, algorithmic game theory / mechanism design, the theory of database privacy, algorithmic fairness, and non-worst-case analysis of algorithms. Some time ago I also did work in AI Planning. Before joining TTIC, I spent 25 wonderful years on the CS faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

I am on the FOCS Steering Committee and FOCS celebration committee. I was recently Program Chair for the 2019 Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS) Conference, on the Organizing Committee and Workshop Co-Chair for the STOC 2018 Theory Fest, on the SafeToC committee, and on the organizing committee for the STOC 2017 Theory Fest. I was also on Program Committees for COLT 2018,STOC 2016 and COLT 2014. For more information on my research, see the publications and research interests links below.

Publications Research Interests
Survey Talks Courses Taught
Blum, Hopcroft, & Kannan, Foundations of Data Science. (This pre-publication version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. Please do not re-post or mirror.)

Current PhD advisees: Naren Manoj (jointly advised with Yury Makarychev), Keziah Naggita (jointly advised with Matt Walter), Han Shao, Kevin Stangl

Former PhD advisees: Prasad Chalasani, Santosh Vempala, Carl Burch, Adam Kalai, John Langford, Nikhil Bansal, Martin Zinkevich, Shuchi Chawla, Brendan McMahan, Maria-Florina (Nina) Balcan, Shobha Venkataraman, Mugizi Robert Rwebangira, Katrina Ligett, Aaron Roth, Or Sheffet, Pranjal Awasthi, Liu Yang, Ankit Sharma, Jamie Morgenstern, Nika Haghtalab.

Though I am no longer at CMU, I endorse the CMU SCS Reasonable Person Principle:

[Last updated September 2019]