Email: gouthamr [at] cmu [dot] edu

Hi, I'm Goutham Rajendran.

About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Pradeep Ravikumar. I recently graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, where I was extremely fortunate to have been advised by Madhur Tulsiani (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago) and Aaron Potechin (CS @ UChicago). I've also had the pleasure of working with Bryon Aragam (UChicago Booth School of Business) and Aravindan Vijayaraghavan (Northwestern University).

Recently, I've grown deeply interested in and have conducted research on representation learning and latent variable modeling. These days, I think about causal representation learning; in particular, given raw, unstructured data, can we learn the generative model that fits the data and on top of this, also learn the causal relationships among the learnt latent variables? This is driven by the motivation to learn representations of data that are robust, explainable and fair.

My main PhD research was on understanding the optimality of the Sum-of-Squares hierarchy, one of the most powerful techniques in convex optimization, for various problems in machine learning, robust statistics, statistical physics, etc. This involves understanding the behavior of random matrices, which is a fascinating topic in its own right. I still actively work on problems in this domain.


Asterisk * indicates alphabetical author list, as is customary in Theoretical Computer Science publications

Fun stuff

I used to do a lot of competitive programming, including ICPC. My handle in online judges is xorfire: Codeforces, Topcoder, Codechef.

In another life, I would have been a professional footballer (read: soccer) but in this one, my career has been plagued with injuries :)

I avidly play and watch football, especially Futbol Club Barcelona games. Recently, I have been quite interested in the NBA.

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