Katherine J. Lai
I am currently working
at DNAnexus while on leave
from the PhD program at Cornell. My PhD advisor is
Prof. Carla Gomes,
whom I have worked with on combinatorial optimization problems as
they arise in computational sustainability applications,
particularly in wildlife corridor design. I was previously an
undergraduate and then an M.Eng. student (as part of a 5-year
program) at MIT working on problems in theoretical computer science.
My Master's advisor was
Demaine. My research interests include but are not limited to
graph algorithms, combinatorial optimization, approximation
algorithms, and other cool algorithms in general.
I TA-ed for 6.854J/18.415J: Advanced
Algorithms Fall 2007 and for 6.046:
Design and Analysis of Algorithms Spring 2008.
Old 6.046 Handouts: Feel free to use them if you find them useful.
- Katherine J. Lai, Carla P. Gomes, Michael K. Schwartz, Kevin S. McKelvey,
David E. Calkin, and Claire A. Montgomery. The Steiner Multigraph
Problem: Wildlife Corridor Design for Multiple Species. In Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Conference on Artificial
Intelligence, Special Track on Computational Sustainability and
2011. Full version here.
- Bistra Dilkina, Katherine J. Lai, and Carla
P. Gomes, Upgrading
Shortest Paths in Networks. In the Proceedings of the 8th
International Conference on Integration of Artificial Intelligence
and Operations Research Techniques in Constraint Programming for
Combinatorial Optimization Problems (CPAIOR 2011), 2011, pages
- Katherine J. Lai, Complexity of
Union-Split-Find Problems. M.Eng. thesis, Department of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, 2008.
- Timothy G. Abbott, Katherine J. Lai, Michael R. Lieberman, Eric
C. Price, Browser-Based Attacks on Tor,
In the Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Privacy
Enhancing Technologies (PET 2007), Ottawa, Canada, 2007, pages
- Ph.D. candidate, Computer Science, Cornell, 2008-present.
- M.Eng., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
- B.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT,
- B.S., Mathematics, MIT, 2007.
I used to and/or currently spend time on the following MIT and Cornell
organizations/activities in some manner or another:
- SIPB, the Student
Information Processing Board, which is devoted to improving computing
- HMMT, the Harvard-MIT
Math Tournament, a high school math tournament run entirely by
Harvard and MIT students and gets more than 600 contestants each
year. Seeing them descend on either Harvard or MIT (we switch
locations each year) is always awe-inspiring.
- LSC, the Lecture Series
Committee, which likes to project 35mm films and use the proceeds to
bring interesting lectures to MIT. I held the position of Chairman
for LSC for a year and was forever scarred (and probably bettered)
by the experience.
- Random Hall,
my undergraduate dormitory. I served as its Vice
President/Treasurer (and got to handle many quarters) and was
employed as its Desk Captain, where I oversaw the operation of the
front desk. The more interesting part of the latter position was in
the technical aspect of writing useful scripts.
Your Horizons, a conference for 7th-9th grade girls where we
hold workshops to show them cool stuff in math and science.
- Theory Discussion
Group, Fall 2009 and Spring
2010. I co-organized the weekly Cornell theoretical computer
science discussion group with Anna Blasiak.
- I also spend some of my spare time
photography, mostly in the Ithaca area.