David Karger

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David Karger
David Ron Karger

(1967-05-01) May 1, 1967 (age 56)
Alma materHarvard University
Stanford University
Known forKarger's algorithm
Chord (peer-to-peer)
Consistent hashing
SpouseAllegra Goodman
AwardsACM Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsInformation Management
Human-Computer Interaction
Semantic Web
InstitutionsHarvard University
Stanford University
Xerox PARC
ThesisRandom Sampling in Graph Optimization Problems (1995)
Doctoral advisorRajeev Motwani[2]
Doctoral students

David Ron Karger (born May 1, 1967) is an American computer scientist who is professor and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Karger received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University.[3]


Karger's work in algorithms has focused on applications of randomization to optimization problems and led to significant progress on several core problems. He is responsible for Karger's algorithm, a Monte Carlo method to compute the minimum cut of a connected graph.[4] Karger developed the fastest minimum spanning tree algorithm to date, with Philip Klein and Robert Tarjan. They found a linear time randomized algorithm based on a combination of Borůvka's algorithm and the reverse-delete algorithm.[5] With Ion Stoica, Robert Morris, Frans Kaashoek, and Hari Balakrishnan, he also developed Chord, one of the four original distributed hash table protocols.[6]

Karger has conducted research in the area of information retrieval and personal information management. This work has focused on new interfaces and algorithms for helping people sift effectively through large masses of information. While at Xerox PARC, he worked on the Scatter/Gather system, which hierarchically clustered a document collection and allow the user to gather clusters at different levels and rescatter them.[7] More recently[when?] he has been researching retrieval systems that personalize themselves to best fit their individual users' needs and behaviors, leading the Haystack project. David Karger is also part of Confer: a tool for conference attendees used by many research conferences.


Karger's dissertation received the 1994 ACM doctoral dissertation award[8] and the Mathematical Programming Society's 1997 Tucker Prize.[9] He also received the National Academy of Sciences' 2004 Award for Initiative in Research.[10]


Karger is married to Allegra Goodman, an American writer. The couple live in Cambridge, Massachusetts and have four children, three boys and a girl.[11]


  1. ^ David Karger publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. ^ a b David Karger at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ "David Karger CSAIL". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  4. ^ Karger, David. "Global Min-cuts in RNC and Other Ramifications of a Simple Mincut Algorithm". Proceedings of the 4th Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, January 1993.
  5. ^ Karger, D. R.; Klein, P. N.; Tarjan, R. E. (1995). "A randomized linear-time algorithm to find minimum spanning trees". Journal of the ACM. 42 (2): 321. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/201019.201022. S2CID 832583.
  6. ^ Stoica, I.; Morris, R.; Karger, D.; Kaashoek, M. F.; Balakrishnan, H. (2001). "Chord: A scalable peer-to-peer lookup service for internet applications" (PDF). ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review. 31 (4): 149. doi:10.1145/964723.383071.
  7. ^ Cutting, D. R.; Karger, D. R.; Pedersen, J. O.; Tukey, J. W. (1992). "Scatter/Gather: a cluster-based approach to browsing large document collections". Proceedings of the 15th annual international ACM SIGIR conference on Research and development in information retrieval - SIGIR '92. p. 318. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/133160.133214. ISBN 978-0897915236. S2CID 373655.
  8. ^ "David Karger". Awards Home. Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  9. ^ "A.W. Tucker Prize - Past Winners". Mathematical Optimization Society Prizes. Mathematical Optimization Society.
  10. ^ "William O. Baker Award for Initiatives in Research Recipients". About the William O. Baker Award for Initiatives in Research. National Academy of Sciences.
  11. ^ "About Allegra". Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.