Faculty member in the theory group

Department of Computer Science

Aalto University

My broad area of research interests is in theoretical computer science. I work mostly on topics around combinatorics and optimization. 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 fun) postdoc at IDSIA. Afterwards, I spent 3.5 years rising from a postdoc to a senior researcher at Max Planck Institute for Informatics, during which my scientific life was very pleasant, thanks to the directorship of Kurt Mehlhorn. I became a faculty member 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. My research has been generously supported by A Starting Grant from European Research Council (ERC) and Academy of Finland Research Fellowship.

Highly motivated students and postdocs in TCS are strongly encouraged to contact me any time. I now have 5 PhD students to supervise. While I do not want to miss opportunities to talk with interesting people (students or otherwise), my time is nevertheless finite. I will not take a new student until the end of 2022.

Click on the publications tab to see more about my research.


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In Spring 2022, I will teach Computational Complexity and Combinatorics.

At Aalto, I have taught Principles of Algorithmic Techniques (x3), Combinatorics (x4), and Computational Complexity.


I very much enjoy working with motivated students. Here is a list of my PhD students, in reverse chronological order of their starting dates:

    • Ly Orgo

    • Sorrachai Yingchareonthawornchai (joint with D. Nanongkai)

    • Nidia Obscura Acosta

    • Ameet Gadekar (joint with C. Brzuska)

    • Wanchote Jiamjitrak

    • Daniel Vaz (joint with K. Mehlhorn), PhD 2020 --> postdoc at TU Munich

    • Andreas Schmid (joint with K. Mehlhorn), PhD 2019 --> postdoc at Montpellier --> industry


PC Membership: I have served (or will serve) on the following PC: WAOA 2021, WADS 2021, ICALP 2021, SODA 2021, SWAT 2020, ICALP 2019, APPROX 2018, ISAAC 2017, ESA 2016, FUN 2016, FSTTCS 2016, APPROX 2015.

Organizational Committee: ALGO 2018 (joint with Petteri Kaski and Jukka Suomela, and ADFOCS 2014. With Andreas Karrenbauer.


Address: Konemiehentie 2, Espoo/Otaniemi, 02150, Finland. B305.

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