Alex Gittens


Before joining Rensselaer as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in 2017, Dr. Gittens was a research scientist at eBay Research Labs and a postdoctoral scholar at the International Institute of Computer Science and the Department of Statistics, UC Berkeley. His interests lie in applying randomness to computational linear algebra, machine learning, and statistics, and are motivated by the goal of efficiently extracting information from massive data sets while maintaining guarantees on rigor and accuracy.

Education & Training

PhD in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Caltech, 2013

Industry Postdoc, eBay Research Labs 2013-2015

Postdoctoral Scholar, International Institute of Computer Science, 2015-2016


My research explore the trade-offs between computational effort and accuracy to design algorithms for the efficient solution of large-scale linear-algebraic and machine learning problems. In particular, I have made research contributions in the following areas:

  • the design and analysis of scalable machine learning algorithms
  • nonlinear and multilinear applications of sketching techniques
  • sampling for low-rank tensor/matrix approximation and completion


Primary Research Focus
Large scale linear algebra and machine learning
Other Focus Areas

Kernel Methods, Randomized Numerical Linear Algebra, Large-scale Machine Learning, Low-rank approximation and Sketching


I regularly teach RPI's introduction to discrete mathematics for computer science for undergraduates, CSCI 2200. See for the latest iteration of this course that I have taught. 

The upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses I teach concern machine learning. In particular, I regularly teach a course entitled Machine Learning and Optimization, which covers the first order optimization algorithms used in modern ML and introduces students to commonly used architectures in modern ML. See for the latest iteration of this course.

Office Hours

I do not have office hours outside of those for the courses I am teaching. Contact me via email to arrange meetings, or alternatively, via Slack if you are an advisee.

Advising & Mentoring

If you are my student advisee, you have been invited to a Slack channel that I use for advising. You can contact me through that (preferable), or via email. 

I am happy to discuss your course selection given your specific career goals, how to get into undergraduate research, how to plan and execute applications to graduate school, and offer general mentoring and professional and career advice. For most inquiries on paperwork (e.g. registrar forms) or regarding which courses count towards your specific graduation requirements, I will point you towards the Science Hub. 


The following is a selection of recent publications in Scopus. Alex Gittens has 28 indexed publications in the subjects of Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering.

Anik Saha, Jian Ni, Oktie Hassanzadeh, Alex Gittens, Kavitha Srinivas, Bulent Yener
Proceedings of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference, LREC 2022 Workshop on 4th Financial Narrative Processing Workshop, FNP 2022
, 2022
, pp.108-111
Alex Gittens, Bulent Yener, Moti Yung
IEEE Access
, 10
, 2022
, pp.120850-120865
Gabriel Orlanski, Alex Gittens
NLP4Prog 2021 - 1st Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Programming, Proceedings of the Workshop
, 2021
, pp.65-76
Dong Hu, Shashanka Ubaru, Alex Gittens, Kenneth L. Clarkson, Lior Horesh, Vassilis Kalantzis
ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings
, 2021-June
, 2021
, pp.3255-3259
Dong Hu, Alex Gittens, Malik Magdon-Ismail
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
, 12457 LNAI
, 2021
, pp.746-761
Kareem S. Aggour, Alex Gittens, Bülent Yener
37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
, PartF168147-5
, 2020
, pp.3524-3533
Nidhi Rastogi, Sharmishtha Dutta, Mohammed J. Zaki, Alex Gittens, Charu Aggarwal
Communications in Computer and Information Science
, 1271 CCIS
, 2020
, pp.28-44
Alex Gittens, Kai Rothauge, Shusen Wang, Michael W. Mahoney, Jey Kottalam, Lisa Gerhardt, Prabhat, Michael Ringenburg, Kristyn Maschhoff
Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
, 31
, 2019
Bo Liu, Liping Jing, Jia Li, Jian Yu, Alex Gittens, Michael W. Mahoney
International Journal of Computer Vision
, 127
, 2019
, pp.181-206
Chander Iyer, Alex Gittens, Christopher Carothers, Petros Drineas
Proceedings of ScalA 2018: 9th Workshop on Latest Advances in Scalable Algorithms for Large-Scale Systems, Held in conjunction with SC 2018: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis
, 2019
, pp.33-40

View All Scopus Publications

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