Rocco Servedio

"The dog scratched and scratched but it was no use."

About Me

I am a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, where I do research in theoretical computer science. My main research interests lie in computational complexity theory, computational learning theory, property testing, and the role of randomness in computation.



Spring 2024 course: Unconditional Lower Bounds and Derandomization

Some Professional Activities

Program Committee chair or co-chair: STOC 2023, CCC 2018, APPROX/RANDOM 2012 (co-chair), COLT 2008 (co-chair), ALT 2007 (co-chair)

Program Committee member: COLT 2022, STOC 2022, FOCS 2016, ITCS 2016, ICALP 2015, COLT 2014, ISAIM 2014, STOC 2013, CCC 2012, ALT 2012, FOCS 2011, ICS 2011, RANDOM 2010, STOC 2009, CCC 2008, SODA 2008 COLT 2007, TAMC 2007, STOC 2006, ICML 2006 COLT 2005, ICML 2005, FOCS 2004, RANDOM 2004, ALT 2004, ICML 2004, ALT 2003, COLT 2002, ICML 2002

A Very Brief And Dry Biography

Before coming to Columbia I was an NSF Mathematical Sciences postdoc in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. I received my Ph.D in computer science, my MS in computer science, and my AB in Mathematics all from Harvard.

I served as Chair of the Computer Science Department at Columbia from 2018 to 2021.


Spring 2023 office hours: for COMS 4236, Fri 8:30-10:30 (but stay appraised of course announcements since these sometimes need to change).

Come check out the Theory Group at Columbia.

Click here for some personal stuff.

If you are looking for milk-free, egg-free recipes for chocolate cake or double layer birthday cake, you've come to the right place.

Contact Information

Mailing address:

Columbia University
Computer Science Department
500 W. 120th Street, Room 450
MC 0401
New York, NY 10027

Phone: 212-853-8445
Office: CSB 517


"I'll tell you what you can do," he said. "You can find the coffee pot you used last time you made coffee and maybe there's some grounds left over in the ground holder and you can give me a paper napkin and I can saturate the napkin with soggy coffee grounds and just hold it under my nose and sniff it for a little while."