His research area is theoretical computer science, focusing on randomness, cryptography, probabilistically checkable proofs, approximation, property testing, and sublinear algorithms. He also runs a blog, in theory, about theoretical computer science.
He received his Ph.D. from La Sapienza, Rome, under the supervision of Pierluigi Crescenzi. After postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and DIMACS, he held an assistant professor position at Columbia University before moving to the University of California, Berkeley and then, in 2010, to Stanford. In 2014 he returned to his position at Berkeley.
He won the Danny Lewin Best Student Paper Award at the 1997 Symposium on Theory of Computing, the Oberwolfach Prize in 2000, and a Sloan Fellowship also in 2000. He was an invited speaker at the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid.
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