Assistant professor in Algorithms and Complexity

Department of Computer Science, Aalto University

My broad area of research interests is in theoretical computer science. More specifically, I study various aspects of efficient computations: approximation algorithms, hardness of approximation, data structures, and online algorithms. I completed my PhD from the department of computer science, University of Chicago in 2012, under the supervision of Julia Chuzhoy (at TTI-C) and Janos Simon.

After my Ph.D, I did a short (and yet very pleasant) postdoc at IDSIA. Afterwards, I spent 3.5 years rising from a postdoc to a senior researcher at Max Planck Institute for Informatics. I started assistant professorship at Aalto in August 2016.

I was a recipient of Simons-Berkeley Research Fellowship in 2017, attending the great 'jumbo' program on Bridging Continuous and Discrete Optimization. From 2018, my research has been generously supported by ERC Starting Grant and Academy of Finland Research Fellowship. At least until 2022, there will occasionally be opening positions in my research group. Highly motivated students and postdocs in TCS are strongly encouraged to contact me any time.


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Here is a list of what I view as my "most interesting" publications (many thanks to my great collaborators who contribute in these works). For the full list of publications, please refer to the publication page.

  1. From gap-ETH to FPT Inapproximability: Clique, Dominating Set and More, 2017. [PDF]
  2. Pattern Avoiding Access in Binary Search Trees, 2015. [PDF]
  3. Pre-Reduction Graph Products: Hardnesses of Properly Learning DFAs and Approximating EDP on DAGs, 2014. [PDF]
  4. Independent Set, Induced Matching, and Pricing: Connections and Tight (Subexponential Time) Approximation Hardnesses, 2013. [PDF]
  5. Approximation Algorithms and Hardness of Integral Concurrent Flow, 2012. [PDF]
  6. Maximum Independent Set of Rectangles, 2009. [PDF]


  • PC Member:
    • International Workshop on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems (APPROX 2018)
    • International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC 2017)
    • European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA 2016)
    • Fun with Algorithms (FUN 2016)
    • Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science (FSTTCS 2016)
    • International Workshop on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems (APPROX 2015)
  • Organizer:
    • European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA) 2018. With Petteri Kaski and Jukka Suomela.
    • Max Planck Advanced Course on Foundations of Computer Science (ADFOCS) 2014. With A. Karrenbauer.



Konemiehentie 2, Espoo/Otaniemi,

02150, Finland

Room B305

Email: Aalto e-mail always follows the format firstname dot lastname at My first name is the one that starts with P.