Jennifer Tour Chayes
Jennifer Tour Chayes
is Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research
New England in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which she cofounded in 2008, and Microsoft Research New York City, which she cofounded in 2012.
These two laboratories are widely renowned interdisciplinary centers, bringing together computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists, social scientists, and biologists,
and helping to lay the foundations of data science.
Prior to founding these labs, Chayes was Research Area Manager
for Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science, and Cryptography at Microsoft Research Redmond.
Chayes joined Microsoft Research in 1997, when she cofounded the Theory Group. Her research
areas include phase transitions in discrete mathematics and computer science, structural and dynamical properties of large
networks, mechanism design, and graph algorithms. She is the coauthor of about 130 scientific papers and the coinventor of
about
30 patents.
Chayes has many ties to the academic community. She was for many years Professor of Mathematics at UCLA.
Chayes serves on numerous institute boards, advisory committees and editorial boards, including
the Boards of Trustees of
the Institute for Computational and
Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM)
and the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science (DIMACS),
the Scientific Advisory Boards of
the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing (of which she is Chair)
and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and
the Advisory Committees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus
and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation.
In addition, Chayes is on
the Advisory Board of the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM),
the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine
(CWSEM) of the National Academies,
and the Board of Directors of the
Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMDIT).
Chayes is
the past Chair of the
Turing Award Selection Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery,
past Chair of the Mathematics Section of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
and past VicePresident of the American Mathematical Society.
Chayes received her B.A. in biology and physics at Wesleyan University, where she graduated first in her class,
and her Ph.D. in mathematical physics at Princeton. She did her postdoctoral work in the mathematics and physics departments
at Harvard and Cornell. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation
Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Sloan Fellowship, and the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. Chayes has recently been the
recipient of many leadership awards including the Leadership Award of Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology, the Leading Women Award
of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts,
the Catalyst Award of the Science Club for Girls,
the Women to Watch Award of
the Boston Business Journal,
and the Women of Vision Leadership Award of the Anita Borg Institute.
She has twice been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study
in Princeton. Chayes is a Fellow of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
the Fields Institute,
the Association for Computing Machinery,
the American Mathematical Society, a National Associate of the
National Academies,
and an Elected Member of the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences.
Chayes was the recipient of the
2015 John von
Neumann Lecture Award, the highest honor of
the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
In 2016, Chayes was awarded an
Honorary Doctorate by Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Chayes is well known for her work on phase transitions, in particular for laying the foundation for the study of phase transitions in problems in discrete mathematics and
theoretical computer science; this study is now giving rise to some of the fastest known algorithms for fundamental problems in combinatorial optimization.
Chayes is one of the world's experts in the emerging field of network science, particularly in its mathematical and algorithmic
foundations. She is well known for her work in the modeling
and analysis of random, dynamically growing graphs, which are used to model the
Internet, the World Wide Web, social networks, and networks in computational
biology. Chayes is one of the inventors of the field of graph limits
(graphons), which are now being used extensively in the machine learning of
massive networks, both theoretically and in practice.
Among Chayes' contributions to Microsoft technologies are the development of methods to analyze the structure and behavior of various networks,
the design of auction algorithms, and the design and analysis of various business models for the online world.
Chayes lives with her husband, Christian Borgs, who also happens to be her principal scientific collaborator. In her spare time, she enjoys overworking.
For more details, download the detailed CV
here.
Selected Publications
Network Modeling and Graph Theory

Directed scalefree graphs
(with B. Bollobas, C. Borgs and O. Riordan)
Proceedings of the 14th Annual ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA),
132139 (2003).


Degree distribution of the FKP network model
(with N. Berger, B. Bollobas, C. Borgs and O. Riordan)
Proceedings of the 30th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and
Programming (ICALP), 725738, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2719 (2003).


Exploring the community structure of newsgroups
(with C. Borgs, M. Mahdian and A. Saberi)
Proceedings of the 10th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on
Knowledge, Discovery and Data Mining (KKD), 783787 (2004).


Newsgroup cluster data referred to in the above paper.


Competitioninduced preferential attachment
(with N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg)
Proceedings of the 31st International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and
Programming (ICALP), 208221, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3142 (2004) 

Degree distribution of competitioninduced preferential attachment
graphs
(with N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg)
Combinatorics, Probability and Computing 14, 697721 (2005). 

Emergence of tempered preferential attachment from optimization
(with N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 104, 61126117 (2007),
cover article. 

Fitting the WHOIS Internet data A short note with technical
details left out in the above paper.


First to market is not Everything: An analysis of preferential
attachment with fitness
(with C. Borgs, C. Daskalakis and S.Roch)
Proceedings of the 39th annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC), 135144 (2007). 
Graph Limits (Graphons) and Nonparametric Network Models

Counting graph homomorphisms
(with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, B. Szegedy and K. Vesztergombi)
in Topics in Discrete Mathematics (eds. M. Klazar, J. Kratochvil, M. Loebl, J. Matousek, R. Thomas, P. Valtr),
315371, Springer (2006). 

Graph limits and parameter testing
(with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, B. Szegedy and K. Vesztergombi)
Proceedings of the 38rd Annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC),
261270 (2006).


Convergent sequences of dense graphs I: Subgraph frequencies,
metric properties and testing
(with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, and K. Vesztergombi)
Advances in Math. 219, 18011851 (2008).


Convergent sequences of dense graphs II: Multiway cuts and statistical physics
(with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, and K. Vesztergombi)
Ann. of Math. 176, 151219 (2012).


Moments of twovariable functions and the uniqueness of graph limits
(with C. Borgs and L. Lovasz)
GAFA 19, 15971619 (2010).


Limits of randomly grown graph sequences
(with C. Borgs, L. Lovasz, V. Sos, K. Veszterbombi)
Eur. J. Comb. 32, 985999 (2011).


Left and right convergence of graphs with bounded degree
(with C. Borgs, J. Kahn, L. Lovasz)
Random Struct. Alg. 42, 128 (2013).


Asymptotic behavior and distributional limits of preferential attachment graphs
(with N. Berger, C. Borgs, A. Saberi) Ann. Probab. 42(1), 140 (2014).


Private graphon estimation for sparse graphs
(with C. Borgs and A. Smith)
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) 28, 13691377 (2015). 

Full version of the above paper. 

Convergent sequences of sparse graphs: A large deviations approach
(with C. Borgs, and D. Gamarnik) preprint (2013). 

An L^{p} theory of sparse graph convergence I:
limits, sparse random graph models, and power law distributions
(with C. Borgs, H. Cohn and Y. Zhao)
preprint (2014). 

An L^{p} theory of sparse graph convergence II:
LD convergence, quotients, and right convergence
(with C. Borgs, H. Cohn and Y. Zhao)
preprint (2014). 

Consistent nonparametric estimation for heavytailed sparse graphs
(with C. Borgs, H. Cohn and S. Ganguly)
preprint (2015). 

Sparse exchangeable graphs and their limits via graphon processes
(with C. Borgs, H. Cohn and N. Holden)
preprint (2016). 

Graphons: A Nonparametric Method to Model, Estimate, and Design Algorithms for Massive Networks
(C. Borgs and J. T. Chayes) 18th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC'17), 17 (2017). 
Processes on Networks and Graph Algorithms

On the spread of viruses on the Internet
(with N. Berger, C. Borgs and A. Saberi)
Proceedings of the 16th ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA), 301310 (2005). 

Local computation of pagerank contributions
(with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, J.
Hopcroft, V. Mirrokni and S. Teng)
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for
the Web Graph (WAW), 150165 (2007).


Robust PageRank and locally computable spam detection features
(with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, J. E. Hopcroft, K. Jain, V.S. Mirrokni and S.H. Teng)
AIRWeb 2008, 6976 (2008).


On the stability of web crawling and web search
(with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, J. E. Hopcroft, V.S. Mirrokni and S.H. Teng)
ISAAC 2008, 680691 (2008).


How to distribute antidote to control epidemics
(with C. Borgs, A. Ganesh, and A. Saberi)
Random Struct. Algorithms 37, 204222 (2010).


We know who you followed last summer: inferring social link creation
times in twitter
(with B. Meeder, B. Karrer, A. Sayedi, R. Ravi and C. Borgs) Proceedings of the 20th International World Wide Web Conference
(WWW), 517526 (2011).


BeliefPropagation for weighted bmatchings on arbitrary graphs and its relation to linear programs with integer solutions
(with M. Bayati, C. Borgs and R. Zecchina)
SIAM Journal of Discrete Mathematics, 25, 9891011 (2011).


A sublinear time algorithm for PageRank computations
(with M. Brautbar, C. Borgs and S.H. Teng)
Proceedings of the 9th Workshop
on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW), 4153 (2012).


The power of local information in social networks
(with M. Brautbar, C. Borgs, S. Khanna, B. Lucier)
Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Internet and Network Economics
(WINE), 406  419 (2012). 

Finding endogenously formed communities
(with M.F. Balcan, M. Braverman, C. Borgs and S.H. Teng)
24th Annual ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA), 767783 (2013). 

Multiscale matrix sampling and sublineartime PageRank
(with M. Brautbar, C. Borgs and S.H. Teng)
Internet Mathematics 10, 2048 (2014).


Maximizing social influence in nearly optimal time
(with M. Brautbar, C. Borgs and B. Lucier)
Proceedings of the 25nd Annual ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA),
946957 (2014).

Mechanism Design, Recommender Systems, and Social Choice

Multiunit auctions with budgetconstrained bidders
(with C. Borgs, N. Immorlica, M. Mahdian and A. Saberi)
Proceedings of the 6th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC), 4451 (2005). 

Bid optimization in online advertisement auctions
(with C. Borgs, O. Etesami, N. Immorlica and M. Mahdian)
2^{nd} Workshop on Sponsored Search Auctions (2006) and
Proceedings of the 16th international conference on World Wide Web (WWW), 531540 (2007). 

The myth of the folk theorem
(with C. Borgs, N. Immorlica, A. Kalai, V. Mirrokni
and C. Papadimitriou)
Proceedings of the 40th Annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC)
(2008).


Trustbased recommendation systems: An axiomatic approach
(with R. Andersen, C. Borgs, U.Feige, A. Flaxman, A. Kalai, V. Mirrokni and M. Tennenholtz)
Proceedings of the 17th international conference on World Wide Web (WWW),
199208 (2008).


A novel approach to propagating distrust
(with C. Borgs, A. Kalai, A. Malekiany, M. Tennenholtz)
Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Internet and Network Economics
(WINE) 87105 (2010).


Gametheoretic models of information overload in social networks
(with C. Borgs, B. Karrer, B. Meeder, R. Ravi, R. Reagans and A. Sayedi)
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW) 146161 (2010).


Fast convergence of natural bargaining dynamics in exchange
networks
(with Y. Kanoria, M. Bayati, C. Borgs and A. Montanari)
Proceedings of the 22nd ACMSIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithm (SODA) 15181537 (2011).


The hitchhiker's guide to affiliation networks: A gametheoretic approach
(with C. Borgs, J. Ding and B. Lucier)
Proceedings of the 2nd Symposium on
Innovations in Computer Science (ICS) 389400 (2011).


Pricing and queuing
(with C. Borgs, S. Doroudi, M. HarcholBalter, K. Xu)
SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review 40(3): 7173 (2012).


Priority pricing in queues with a continuous distribution of customer valuations
(with S. Doroudi, M. Akan, M. HarcholBalter, J. Karp, C. Borgs)
CMU technical report CMUCS13109 (2013).


The optimal admission threshold in observable
queues with state dependent pricing
(with C. Borgs, S. Doroudi, M. HarcholBalter, K. Xu)
Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences 28, 101110 (2014). 

Optimal multiperiod pricing with service guarantees
(with O. Candogan,
C. Borgs, I. Lobel, and H. Nazerzadeh) Management Science 60, 17921811 (2014).


Bargaining dynamics in exchange networks
(with M. Bayati, C. Borgs,
Y. Kanoria and A. Montanari) J. Econ. Theory 156, 417454 (2015).


An axiomatic approach to community detection
(with C. Borgs, A. Marple, and S.H. Teng)
Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science (ITCS '16), 135146
(2016).

Phase Transitions in Combinatorics
and Computer Science

Uniform boundedness of crossing probabilities implies hyperscaling
(with C. Borgs, H. Kesten and J. Spencer)
Random Structures and Algorithms 15, 368413 (1999).


The birth of the infinite cluster: Finitesize scaling in percolation
(with C. Borgs, H. Kesten and J. Spencer)
Communications in Mathematical Physics 224, 153204 (2001).


The scaling window of the 2SAT transition
(with B. Bollobas, C. Borgs, J.H. Kim and D.B. Wilson)
Random Structures and Algorithms 18, 201256 (2001).


Sharp threshold and scaling window for the integer partitioning problem
(with C. Borgs and B. Pittel)
Proceedings of the 33rd annual ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing (STOC), 330336 (2001).


Phase transition and finitesize scaling for the integer partitioning problem
(with C. Borgs and B. Pittel)
Random Structures and Algorithms 19, 247288 (2001).


Constrained integer partitions
(with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and B. Pittel)
Proceedings of the 6th Latin American Symposium on Theoretical Informatics
(LATIN), 5968, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2976 (2004).


Phase diagram for the constrained integer partitioning problem
(with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and B. Pittel)
Random Structures and Algorithms 24, 315380 (2004).


Random subgraphs of finite graphs: I. The scaling window
under the triangle condition
(with C. Borgs, R. van der Hofstad, G. Slade and J. Spencer)
Random Structures and Algorithms 27, 137184 (2005). 

Random subgraphs of finite graphs: II. The lace expansion
and the triangle condition
(with C. Borgs, R. van der Hofstad, G. Slade and J. Spencer)
Annals of Probability 33, 18861944 (2005). 

Random subgraphs of finite graphs: III. The phase transition
for the ncube
(with C. Borgs, R. van der Hofstad, G. Slade and J. Spencer)
Combinatorica 26, 395410 (2006). 

The KestenStigum reconstruction bound is tight for roughly symmetric
binary channels
(with C. Borgs, E. Mossel and S. Roch)
47th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS),
518530 (2006).


Proof of the local REM conjecture for number partitioning I: Constant
energy scales
(with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and C. Nair)
Random Structures and Algorithms 34, 217240 (2009). 

Proof of the local REM conjecture for number partitioning II: Growing
energy scales
(with C. Borgs, S. Mertens and C. Nair)
Random Structures and Algorithms 34, 241284 (2009). 

Percolation on dense graph sequences
(with B. Bollobas, C. Borgs and O. Riordan)
Ann. Probab. 38, 150183 (2010).

Estimation, Learning and Applications in Systems Biology

Statistical mechanics of Steiner trees
(with M. Bayati, A. Braunstein, A. Ramezanpour, and R. Zecchina)
Physical Review Letters 101, 037208 14 (2008), reprinted in
Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research 16, August 1 (2008).


Finding undetected protein associations in cell signaling by belief propagation
(with M. BaillyBechet, C. Borgs, A. Braunstein, A.Dagkessamanskaia,
J. Francois, and R. Zecchina). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(PNAS) 108, 882887 (2011).


Simultaneous reconstruction of multiple signaling pathways via the
prizecollecting Steiner forest problem
(N.Tuncbag, A.Braunstein, A.Pagnani, S.C.Huang, J.Chayes, C.Borgs, R.Zecchina, E.Fraenkel),
16th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), 287  301 (2012)
and Journal of Computational Biology 20, 124136 (2013). 

Sharing information to reconstruct patientspecific pathways in heterogeneous diseases
(A. Gitter, A. Braunstein, A. Pagnani, C. Baldassi, C. Borgs, J. Chayes, R. Zecchina, E. Fraenkel).
Proceedings of the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB), 3950 (2014).


Unreasonable effectiveness of learning neural networks: From accessible states and robust ensembles to basic algorithmic schemes
(C. Baldassi, C. Borgs,
J.T.Chayes, A. Ingrosso, C. Lucibello, L. Saglietti, and R. Zecchina).
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(PNAS) 113, E7655–E7662 (2016).


EntropySGD: Biasing Gradient Descent Into Wide Valleys
(P. Chaudhari, A. Choromanska, S. Soatto, Y. LeCun,
C. Baldassi, C. Borgs, J.T. Chayes, L. Sagun and R. Zecchina).
International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), 119 (2017).

Monte Carlo Markov Chains

Torpid mixing of some Monte Carlo Markov Chain algorithms in statistical physics
(with C. Borgs, A. Frieze, J.H. Kim, P. Tetali, E. Vigoda and V. Vu)
Proceedings of the 40th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS),
218229 (1999).


On the sampling problem for Hcolorings on the hypercubic lattice
(with C. Borgs, M. Dyer and P. Tetali)
in Graphs, Morphisms and Statistical Physics (eds. J Nesetril and P Winkler),
DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science 63,
1328, American Mathematical Society (2004). 

Tight bounds for mixing of the SwendsenWang algorithm at the Potts transition point
(with C. Borgs and P. Tetali)
Probab. Theory Relat. Fields 152, 509  557 (2012).

Zeros of Complex Partition Functions and LeeYang Theory

Gibbs states of graphical representations of the Potts model with external fields
(with M. Biskup, C. Borgs and R. Kotecky)
Journal of Mathematical Physics 41, 11701210 (2000).


General theory of LeeYang zeros in models with firstorder phase transitions
(with M. Biskup, C. Borgs, L. Kleinwaks and R. Kotecky)
Physical Review Letters 84, 47944797 (2000).


Partition function zeros at firstorder phase transitions: A general analysis
(with M. Biskup, C. Borgs, L. Kleinwaks and R. Kotecky)
Communications in Mathematical Physics 251, 79131 (2004). 

Partition function zeros at firstorder phase transitions:
PiorogovSinai theory
(with M. Biskup, C. Borgs and R. Kotecky)
Journal of Statistical Physics 116, 97155 (2004).
