Prof. Andrew McGregor joins CS faculty

Andrew McGregor joined the Department as an Assistant Professor in January. His research interests are in algorithms for processing massive data sets and data streams; computing with noisy or incomplete data; clustering; communication complexity; coding and information theory.

"Processing massive data sets and computing with data that may be noisy or inconsistent are two of the major challenges that computer science faces today," says McGregor. "Traditional notions of 'efficient computation' need to be reconsidered when monitoring Gbps network traffic or mining petabytes of search engine data. New theoretical and practical challenges arise from constraints on how data is accessed and the need to process 'uncertain' data (e.g., data from conflicting sources, incomplete logs, noisy channels, and imperfect sensors)."

McGregor's research focuses on the design of efficient algorithms and the study of complexity in this new paradigm. This includes processing data streams and massive graphs, clustering data, and understanding underlying theoretical issues such as communication complexity and space complexity in stream computation. Other areas of his research include coding and information theory; network design and optimization; and priced information. His work appears in a range of applied and theoretical venues including those focused on databases, data mining, information theory, machine learning, and theoretical computer science.

Notably, McGregor's research has appeared in a Special Issue of Journal of Machine Learning for Best Papers from The Twentieth Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT 2007), a Special Issue of Transactions on Database Systems for Best Papers from the 27th ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data / Principles of Database Systems (PODS 2007), a Special Issue of Theoretical Computer Science for Best Papers from the 31st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2004), and the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory's (SIGACT's) "Significant papers on new areas" (1 of 13 from 2007).

Prior to joining the Department's faculty, McGregor held postdoctoral researcher positions at Microsoft Research (Silicon Valley) and at the University of California, San Diego, Information Theory and Applications Center. He received his Ph.D. and M.Eng. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and 2002, respectively. He also received a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, in 2001 and 2000, respectively. During graduate school, McGregor spent a summer at the Rutgers' Center for Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) and three summers at Bell Labs.

"This is a great department and I am very happy to be here," says McGregor. "I think it is the perfect place to pursue my research goals and I am also very excited to be discovering new research opportunities as I get to know the faculty and students of the department. In fact, I doubt that you could find a happier and more collaborative environment!"