Jerry's smirking face

Jerry Li

Stata Center. 32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Office G32-578

jerryzli AT mit DOT edu

My CV (last updated 4/25/2016)


I am a Ph.D student studying theoretical computer science at MIT. My advisor is Ankur Moitra. I did my masters at MIT under the wonderful supervision of Nir Shavit. I am partially supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. My primary research interests are in learning theory and distributed algorithms, but I am broadly interested in many other things in TCS. I particularly like applications of analysis and analytic techniques to TCS problems.

As an undergrad at the University of Washington, I worked on complexity of branching programs, and how we could prove hardness of techniques used for naturally arising learning problems in database theory and AI.

In my free time I enjoy being remarkably mediocre at ultimate frisbee, chess, and piano, amongst other things.


Authors are ordered alphabetically unless stated otherwise.


Journal Papers

  • Exact Model Counting of Query Expressions: Limitations of Propositional Methods
    Paul Beame, Jerry Li, Sudeepa Roy, Dan Suciu.
    to appear, ACM Transactions on Database Systems

Conference and Workshop Papers


Other Writing


  • Robust Estimators In High Dimensions without the Computational Intractability [slides]

    • TCS+, December 2016 [video]

    • FOCS, October 2016 [video]

    • ETH Theory Seminar, August 2016

    • UW Theory Lunch, July 2016

    • MIT Algorithms and Complexity Seminar, June 2016

  • Quantized Stochastic Gradient Descent

    • MIT ML Tea, October 2016

  • Fast Algorithms for Segmented Regression [slides]

  • Fast and Near-Optimal Algorithms for Approximating Distributions by Histograms [slides]

    • PODS 2015

  • Model Counting of Query Expressions: Limitations of Propositional Methods [slides]

    • ICDT 2015

    • MIT Theory Lunch, 2014


  1. TA for 6.852, Distributed Algorithms, Fall 2014.

  1. TA for the UW Math REU under Dr. James Morrow, Summer 2013.

  2. TA for MATH 334/5/6, Advanced Accelerated Second Year Honors Calculus, 2012-2013.

  3. TA for CS 373, Algorithms and Data Structures, Spring 2012.

  4. TA for CS 344, Databases, Winter 2012.


  • I am/was an external reviewer for SLOGN 2010*, PODC 2014, ICDT 2015, STOC 2015, NIPS 2016, SODA 2017, LICS 2017, FOCS 2017, COLT 2017, RANDOM 2017, DISC 2017

  • I'm participating in Algorithms Office Hours. If you're affiliated with MIT, and have algorithmic questions, please contact us!

  • I am on the steering committee for SLOGN*

  • I organized the Great Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science (aka theory lunch) in the 2013-2014 academic year.

  • I stole the boombox from the Glorious Office 3 times, then promptly lost it back each time.

* This might be false