Jeremy McMahan

Welcome! I'm a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Theory of Computing group. I received my M.Sc. in computer science from UW-Madison where I worked with Prof. Shuchi Chawla on stochastic and online optimization in metric spaces.

Before that, I obtained my B.Sc. in computer science and mathematics from UIUC in 2018. I was fortunate to work with Prof. Alexandra Kolla on spectral graph theory. I also worked with Alexander Yong as a member of the Illinois Combinatorics Lab for Undergraduate Experiences (ICLUE).

Research

I'm primarily interested in:

  • Combinatorial Optimization

  • Approximation Algorithms

  • Graph Algorithms and Graph Theory

  • Algorithms under Uncertainty

    • Online Algorithms

    • Stochastic Algorithms

I especially like problems involving graphs or that are easy to visualize. I’m also interested in the Power of Randomness in Computation, Algorithmic Game Theory, Machine Learning, and Psychology and Computer Science.

One hidden theme is how information can affect the tractability or quality of solutions for problems. Adaptivity gaps in stochastic optimization directly quantify how using information can change the quality of a solution. Similarly, using ML predictions in online settings deals with how additional information can lead to better algorithms. And even in algorithmic mechanism design, Information Design and Persuasion illustrate that controlling the information an agent has can lead to increased social welfare.

For more details on current work and interests check out Research.

Teaching

I've had several teaching positions over the years: course assistant, teaching assistant, and head teaching assistant. I began my teaching career as a course assistant for CS 374, algorithms and models of computation, at UIUC under Jeff Erickson. Much of my teaching style was formed from this experience. Afterwards, I served as a teaching assistant and head teaching assistant for mostly algorithms and machine learning courses at UW-Madison. I have tons of fun showing students the beauty of topics they originally feared or disliked and trying to convey ideas in the most entertaining ways possible. Teaching has been extremely rewarding and I am honored to have received teaching awards at UW-Madison. I also was lucky enough to serve as teaching assistant for the first iteration of the new horizon's in theoretical computer science summer school!

I really enjoy making instructional youtube videos and lecture notes. I'm intrigued by creating course structures and the best ways to convey difficult topics. I think about these things often. My ultimate goal is to create courses, devise tools, and discover teaching techniques to optimally facilitate learning, especially for theory topics. Maybe discoveries from AI and psychology could even help with this goal!

For more information on courses I teach and my teaching approach, check out Teaching.

Personal

I really enjoy making music, playing basketball, binging anime, and much more! For more information on my personality and personal life, check out Personal. Especially if you are a student, you might find this page entertaining.