As noted on the CSAIL website: The Simons Foundation has announced that Professor Piotr Indyk has been selected as a Simons Investigator. Indyk is one of 13 mathematicians, theoretical physicists and computer scientists named as 2013 Simons Investigators and one of two professors at MIT selected for the honor.
Simons Investigators receive $100,000 annually to support their research. The support is for an initial period of five years, with the possibility of renewal for an additional five years. The goal of the program is to provide a stable base of support for outstanding scientists in their most productive years, enabling them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions.
Indyk is noted for his work on efficient approximate algorithms for high-dimensional geometric problems. This includes the nearest neighbor search, where given a data point, the goal is to find points highly similar to it, without scanning the whole data set. To address this problem he co-developed the technique of Locality Sensitive Hashing, which proved to be influential in many applications, ranging from data mining to computer vision.
Indyk has also made significant contributions to sub-linear algorithms for massive data problems. In particular, he has developed several approximate algorithms for massive data streams that use very limited space. Recently, he has co-developed new algorithms for the sparse Fourier transform, which compute the Fourier transform of signals with sparse spectra faster than the FFT algorithm.
For more information on Indyk’s work, please visit: http://www.csail.mit.edu/user/1540.