Boaz Barak

Kempner Institute Associate Faculty
Kempner Faculty Steering Committee
Professor of Computer Science

Preferred Pronouns:



Contact Information

Social Media

Office Address

SEC 3.309

Subjects I Teach:

  • Theoretical computer science
  • Machine learning


Boaz Barak is the Gordon McKay professor of Computer Science at Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Barak’s research interests include all areas of theoretical computer science and in particular cryptography, computational complexity, and the foundations of machine learning. Previously, he was a principal researcher at Microsoft Research New England, and before that an associate professor (with tenure) at Princeton University’s computer science department. Barak has won the ACM dissertation award, the Packard and Sloan fellowships, and was selected for Foreign Policy magazine’s list of 100 leading global thinkers for 2014. He was also chosen as a Simons investigator and a Fellow of the ACM. Barak is a member of the scientific advisory boards for Quanta Magazine and the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. He is also a board member of AddisCoder, a non-profit organization for teaching algorithms and coding to high-school students in Ethiopia and Jamaica. Barak wrote, with Sanjeev Arora, the textbook, Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach.

Research Focus

Barak’s current research focuses on the foundations of machine learning, and understanding the mechanisms, capabilities, and limitations of deep learning systems. He is particularly interested in how performance depends on resources, including computation, data, memory, and more.