Sitan Chen

I am a third-year graduate student in the EECS department at MIT and a member of CSAIL and the Theory of Computation group. I am very fortunate to be advised by Ankur Moitra and have been generously supported by an MIT Presidential Fellowship and the PD Soros Foundation.

Prior to MIT, I studied mathematics and computer science as an undergraduate at Harvard, where I had the pleasure and honor of working with Salil Vadhan and Leslie Valiant.

Research Interests: I am generally interested in algorithms and complexity theory. Currently I am interested in problems related to algorithmic aspects of machine learning, approximate sampling and phase transitions in statistical physics, and convex programming hierarchies.

Email: sitanc (at) mit (dot) edu


  1. Improved Bounds for Sampling Colorings via Linear Programming [pdf] [slides]
    with Michelle Delcourt, Ankur Moitra, Guillem Perarnau, and Luke Postle
    (merger of [CM18] and [DPP18])
    SODA 2019
  2. Beyond the Low-Degree Algorithm: Mixtures of Subcubes and Their Applications [pdf] [slides]
    with Ankur Moitra
    STOC 2019
  3. Basis Collapse For Holographic Algorithms over All Domain Sizes [pdf] [slides] [video]
    STOC 2016.
  4. Geometry in Algorithms and Complexity: Holographic Algorithms and Valiant's Conjecture [pdf]
    Senior thesis, Thomas Hoopes Prize, Captain Jonathan Fay Prize (for best Harvard undergraduate theses), New World Mathematics Award
  5. Pseudorandomness for Read-Once, Constant-Depth Circuits [pdf]
    with Thomas Steinke and Salil Vadhan
  6. On the Rank Number of Grid Graphs [pdf]
    Manuscript, 3rd place in 2011 Siemens Competition
  7. Cellular Automata to More Efficiently Compute the Collatz Map [pdf]
    IJUC 2014, 4th place in 2010 Siemens Competition


picture of me