Nicole Wein


I co-organized the June 2023 DIMACS workshop Modern Techniques in Graph Algorithms.

PC Member: ICALP 2024, ESA 2023, SODA 2023, ITCS 2022

I was the organizer of Algorithms Office Hours at MIT, whose goal is to improve communication between theory and applications of algorithms.

I have been a subreviewer for many conferences and journals.


3 Pieces of Reassurance for Early-Stage PhD Students (in TCS)

One of my favorite ways to do research is supercollaboration.

I do ballet and tap dancing.

My brother Alex is also a theoretical computer scientist.

My sister Natasha is an artist x2.

My sister-in-law Melissa is a topologist.

My sister-in-law Maya is a designer.

Nicole Wein

nswein at umich dot edu

About Me

Starting in January 2024 I will be an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. I will be in the Theory of Computation Lab within the Computer Science and Engineering Division of the EECS Department.

This semester I am a Research Fellow at the Simons Institute.

Previously I was a postdoc at DIMACS working with Sepehr Assadi, Aaron Bernstein, Martin Farach-Colton, and Jie Gao.

I did my PhD at MIT advised by Virginia Vassilevska Williams.

I have a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford and a B.S. in Computer Science/Math from Harvey Mudd College where Ran Libeskind-Hadas sparked my interest in algorithms. During undergrad I did an REU at Oregon State University with Glencora Borradaile.

A number other mentors have supported my career including Michael Bender, Moses Charikar, Erik Demaine, Monika Henzinger, Piotr Indyk, Anna Lubiw, Tim Roughgarden, Shay Solomon, and Hsin-Hao Su.

During the DIMACS REU 2022 I mentored undergraduate student Sam Hiken.

My Research

I am a theoretical computer scientist and my research involves graph algorithms and lower bounds including in the areas of distance-estimation algorithms, dynamic algorithms, parameterized algorithms, distributed algorithms, online algorithms, data structures, and fine-grained complexity. I am more broadly interested in algorithmic problems that are combinatorial in nature.

Some questions that guide my research:



A Local-to-Global Theorem for Congested Shortest Paths
with Shyan Akmal

Closing the Gap Between Directed Hopsets and Shortcut Sets
with Aaron Bernstein


Online List Labeling: Breaking the log2n Barrier
with Michael A. Bender, Alexander Conway, Martín Farach-Colton, Hanna Komlós, and William Kuszmaul
FOCS, Invited to the special issue of SICOMP, Invited to HALG
[arXiv] [TCS+ talk]

Approximation Algorithms and Hardness for n-Pairs Shortest Paths and All-Nodes Shortest Cycles
with Mina Dalirooyfard, Ce Jin, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams

Hardness of Token Swapping on Trees
with Oswin Aichholzer, Erik D. Demaine, Matias Korman, Anna Lubiw, Jayson Lynch, Zuzana Masárová, Mikhail Rudoy, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams
ESA, Invited minisymposium at CANADAM

Memoryless Worker-Task Assignment with Polylogarithmic Switching Cost
with Aaron Berger, William Kuszmaul, Adam Polak, and Jonathan Tidor

Better Lower Bounds for Shortcut Sets and Additive Spanners via an Improved Alternation Product
with Kevin Lu, Virginia Vassilevska Williams, and Zixuan Xu


Algorithms for the Minimum Dominating Set Problem in Bounded Arboricity Graphs: Simpler, Faster, and Combinatorial
with Adir Morgan and Shay Solomon
[arXiv] [talk]

Tight Conditional Lower Bounds for Approximating Diameter in Directed Graphs
with Mina Dalirrooyfard
See also concurrent work by Ray Li

New Techniques and Fine-Grained Hardness for Dynamic Near-Additive Spanners
with Thiago Bergamaschi, Monika Henzinger, Maximilian Probst Gutenberg, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams


Lower Bounds for Dynamic Distributed Task Allocation
with Hsin-Hao Su
[arXiv] [talk]

New Algorithms and Hardness for Incremental Single-Source Shortest Paths in Directed Graphs
with Maximilian Probst Gutenberg and Virginia Vassilevska Williams
[arXiv] [talk]


Tight Approximation Algorithms for Bichromatic Graph Diameter and Related Problems
with Mina Dalirrooyfard, Virginia Vassilevska Williams, and Nikhil Vyas

Approximation Algorithms for Min-Distance Problems
with Mina Dalirrooyfard, Virginia Vassilevska Williams, Nikhil Vyas, Yinzhan Xu, and Yuancheng Yu

Algorithms and Hardness for Diameter in Dynamic Graphs
with Bertie Ancona, Monika Henzinger, Liam Roditty, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams


Improved Dynamic Graph Coloring
with Shay Solomon
[arXiv] [mentioned in blog post]

Finding Cliques in Social Networks: A New Distribution-Free Model
with Jacob Fox, Tim Roughgarden, C. Seshadhri, and Fan Wei
[arXiv] [talk] [focus of chapter 28 of Beyond the Worst-Case Analysis of Algorithms]

Fully Dynamic MIS in Uniformly Sparse Graphs
with Krzysztof Onak, Baruch Schieber, and Shay Solomon

Towards Tight Approximation Bounds for Graph Diameter and Eccentricities
with Arturs Backurs, Liam Roditty, Gilad Segal, and Virginia Vassilevska Williams