William Gasarch

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William Ian Gasarch
Nationality United States
Alma mater Stony Brook University
Harvard University
Scientific career
Fields Computer science
Institutions University of Maryland, College Park
Doctoral advisor Harry R. Lewis
Website www.cs.umd.edu/~gasarch

William Ian Gasarch is a computer scientist known for his work in computational complexity theory, computability theory, computational learning theory, and Ramsey theory. He is currently a professor at the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science with an affiliate appointment in Mathematics.

As of 2015 he has supervised over 40 high school students on research projects, including Jacob Lurie, and over 45 undergraduates. He has co-blogged on computational complexity with Lance Fortnow since 2007. He was the book review editor for ACM SIGACT NEWS from 1997-2015 before resigning and turning the job over to Fred Green, a professor of Computer science at Clark University.


William Gasarch received his doctorate in computer science from Harvard in 1985, advised by Harry R. Lewis. His thesis was titled Recursion-Theoretic Techniques in Complexity Theory and Combinatorics.[1] He was hired into a tenure track professorial job at the University of Maryland in the Fall of 1985. He was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 1991, and to Full Professor in 1998.


Gasarch co-founded (with Richard Beigel) the field of Bounded Queries in Recursion Theory[2] and has written many papers in the area capped off by a book on the topic co-authored with Georgia Martin, titled Bounded Queries in Recursion Theory.[3] He also co-founded the subfield of recursion-theoretic inductive inference named Learning via Queries[4] with Carl Smith. More recently he has been more involved with combinatorics, notably Ramsey Theory.[5][6][7] He has written two surveys of what theorists think of the P vs NP problem.[8][9]


Lance Fortnow began writing a blog on theoretical computer science with an emphasis on complexity theory in 2003.[10] William Gasarch was a frequent guest blogger until 2007 when he became an official co-blogger. Largely because of the blog Fortnow/Gasarch were named one of the 50 most social-media savvy professors in America.[11] Their blog is also one of the top 30 computer science and programming blogs.[12]


William Gasarch collects novelty songs. He has the largest collection of satires of Bob Dylan's music.[13]


  1. ^ William Gasarch at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ http://www.cs.umd.edu/~gasarch/papers/gems.pdf Gems in the Field of Bounded Queries by William Gasarch, 2003
  3. ^ https://www.springer.com/us/book/9780817639662 Bounded Queries in Recursion Theory (with Georgia Martin), Birkhauser, 1999
  4. ^ http://www.cs.umd.edu/~gasarch/papers/lvqsur.pdf A Survey of Inductive Inference with an Emphasis on Queries, Gasarch and Smith, 1997
  5. ^ https://arxiv.org/abs/1005.3749 Lower Bounds on the van der Warden Numbers: Randomized and Deterministic-Constructive
  6. ^ https://arxiv.org/abs/1005.3750 Rectangle Free Colorings of Grids (with Fenner, Glover, Purewal), 2010
  7. ^ https://arxiv.org/abs/1108.3347 Proving programs terminate using well orderings, Ramsey Theory, and Matrices
  8. ^ http://www.cs.umd.edu/~gasarch/papers/poll.pdf The P=?NP Poll, William Gasarch, Guest Column in SIGACT NEWS Complexity Theory Column 36, 2002
  9. ^ http://www.cs.umd.edu/~gasarch/papers/poll2012.pdf The Second P=?NP Poll, William Gasarch, Guest Column in SIGACT NEWS Complexity THeory Column 74, 2012
  10. ^ http://blog.computationalcomplexity.org/ Computational Complexity Weblog
  11. ^ http://www.onlinecolleges.net/50-most-social-media-savvy-professors-in-america/ 50 Most Social Media Savvy Professor In America
  12. ^ http://www.computersciencedegreehub.com/top-30-computer-science-programming-blogs-2014/ The Top 30 Computer Science and Programming Blogs
  13. ^ http://www.cs.umd.edu/~gasarch/dylan/dylan.html Satires of Bob Dylan. Webpage maintained by William Gasarch.

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