Subhash Khot

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Subhash Khot
Alma mater Princeton University, IIT Bombay
Known for Unique games conjecture
Awards Waterman Award (2010)
Rolf Nevanlinna Prize (2014)
MacArthur Fellow (2016)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2017)
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Georgia Tech
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Sanjeev Arora

Subhash Khot FRS (born June 10, 1978 in Ichalkaranji) is an Indian-American mathematician and theoretical computer scientist who is the Julius Silver Professor of Computer Science in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Khot's unexpected and original contributions are providing critical insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity. He is best known for his unique games conjecture.[1]

Khot was awarded the 2014 Rolf Nevanlinna Prize by the International Mathematical Union. He received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2016 [2] and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017.[3]


Khot obtained his bachelor's degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 1999.

He received his doctorate degree in computer science from Princeton University in 2003 under the supervision of Sanjeev Arora. He also received an honorable mention in the ACM doctoral dissertation award in 2003 for his dissertation, "New Techniques for Probabilistically Checkable Proofs and Inapproximability Results."[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

Khot is a two time silver medalist representing India at the International Mathematical Olympiad in the years 1994 and 1995.[5][6]

In 1995, Khot topped the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination.[7][8]

In 2005, he received the Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship Award.[9] The fellowship recognizes innovative, promising new faculty members who are exploring breakthrough, high-impact research that has the potential to help solve some of today’s most challenging societal problems.[10]

In 2010, Khot received the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award, which recognizes an early career scientist for their outstanding contributions in their respective field.[11] The National Science Foundation citation for the Waterman award states: "For unexpected and original contributions to computational complexity, notably the Unique Games Conjecture, and the resulting rich connections and consequences in optimization, computer science and mathematics".[12]

Khot gave an invited talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2010, on the topic of "Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science".[13]

Khot was awarded the 2014 Rolf Nevanlinna Prize by the International Mathematical Union, for his work related to the Unique Games Conjecture, as well as for posing the conjecture itself. According to the International Mathematical Union citation,[14] "he is awarded the Nevanlinna Prize for his prescient definition of the “Unique Games” problem, and leading the effort to understand its complexity and its pivotal role in the study of efficient approximation of optimization problems; his work has led to breakthroughs in algorithmic design and approximation hardness, and to new exciting interactions between computational complexity, analysis and geometry".

Khot received the MacArthur Fellowship (or "Genius Grant") in 2016. The MacArthur foundation states that these are "unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction".[15]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2017.[16] Fellows are elected based on having made "a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science".[17]


  1. ^ Khot, Subhash (2002), "On the power of unique 2-prover 1-round games", Proceedings of the 17th Annual IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity, p. 25, doi:10.1109/CCC.2002.1004334 .
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Subhash Khot". Royal Society. Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  4. ^ ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award 2003
  5. ^ "Subhash Khot's results". International Mathematical Olympiad. 
  6. ^ Shirali, S.A. (2006), "The Sierpinski problem", Resonance, Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, 11 (2): 78–87, doi:10.1007/BF02837277 
  7. ^ R. RAMACHANDRAN (August 13, 2014). "Mathematics wizard is an IIT-Bombay alumnus". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  8. ^ HOMAS LIN, ERICA KLARREICH. "What It Takes to Win the World's Highest Computer Science Honor". Quanta Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Microsoft Faculty Fellowship Recipients 2005
  10. ^ Microsoft Faculty Fellowship Program Overview
  11. ^ National Science Foundation, Alan T. Waterman Award.
  12. ^ Alan T. Waterman Award Recipients 2010 Archived 2009-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "ICM Plenary and Invited Speakers since 1897". International Congress of Mathematicians. 
  14. ^ 2014 awardees with brief citations
  15. ^ "MacArthur Fellows Program". [dead link]
  16. ^ "Subhash Khot". Royal Society. Archived from the original on 23 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  17. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)