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Jennifer Tour Chayes

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Template:Infobox Scientist

Jennifer Tour Chayes is managing director of the new Microsoft Research New England lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts which opened in July 2008. She received her Ph.D. in mathematical physics at Princeton University. She is Affiliate Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Washington, and was for many years Professor of Mathematics at UCLA.

Early life and work

Chayes grew up in White Plains, N.Y., the child of Iranian immigrants. She received her B.A. in Biology and Physics from Wesleyan University in 1979 where she graduated first in her class. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics at Princeton. She did her postdoctoral work in the Mathematics and Physics departments at Harvard and Cornell. She moved to UCLA as faculty and was tenured there in 1987.

Chayes was married to Christian Borgs in 1993. Chayes and Borgs started the Theory Group at Microsoft Research Redmond in 1997. The Theory Group analyzes fundamental questions in theoretical computer science using techniques from statistical physics and discrete mathematics. Chayes is best known for her work on phase transitions. Her research areas include phase transitions in discrete mathematics and computer science, structural and dynamical properties of self-engineered networks, and algorithmic game theory. She is considered one of the world's experts in the modeling and analysis of dynamically growing graphs. Applications include the Internet, the Web, biological networks, and social networks. She has contributed 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.

Recent work and recognition

Chayes and Borgs opened Microsoft Research New England in July 2008. The lab is located at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center and is pursuing new, interdisciplinary areas of research that bring together core computer scientists and social scientists to understand, model, and enable future computing and online experiences.

Chayes serves on a number of boards, advisory committees and editorial boards, including the Turing Award Selection Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Board of Trustees of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the Advisory Boards of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science and the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, the U.S. National Committee for Mathematics and the Committee on Assuring the Integrity of Research Data of the National Academies, the Advisory Committee on Women in Computing of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Leadership Advisory Council of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and the Selection Committee for the Anita Borg Award for Technical Leadership. Chayes is a past Chair of the Mathematics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past Vice-President of the American Mathematical Society. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Sloan Fellowship, and the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. She is the co-author of almost 100 scientific papers and the co-inventor of more than 20 patents [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].

Awards and honors

  • National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Member (twice), Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • National Associate, National Academies
  • Recipient, Sloan Fellowship
  • Recipient, UCLA Distinguished Fellow


  1. Chayes, Jennifer; B. Bollobas, C. Borgs, J.H. Kim, D.B. Wilson (2001), The scaling window of the 2-SAT transition, 18, Random Structures and Algorithms, pp. 201–256 
  2. Chayes, Jennifer; N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg (2007), Emergence of tempered preferential attachment from optimization, 104, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), pp. 6112–6117 
  3. Chayes, Jennifer; R. Andersen, C. Borgs, U.Feige, A. Flaxman, A. Kalai, V. Mirrokni and M. Tennenholtz (2008), Trust-based recommendation systems: An axiomatic approach, Proceedings of the 17th international conference on World Wide Web (WWW) 
  4. Chayes, Jennifer; N. Berger, C. Borgs, R. D'Souza and R. D. Kleinberg (2007), Emergence of tempered preferential attachment from optimization, 104, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), pp. 6112–6117 
  5. Chayes, Jennifer; M. Biskup, C. Borgs, L. Kleinwaks and R. Kotecky (2004), Partition function zeros at first-order phase transitions: A general analysis, 251, Communications in Mathematical Physics, pp. 79–131 

External links

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