I am a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications.

I completed my PhD at the Einstein Institute of Mathematics and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. I had the great fortune of being supervised by Prof. Nati Linial.

I am interested in high-dimensional combinatorics, especially random high-dimensional permutations and designs. I also enjoy thinking about random (hyper) graphs and (hyper) graph processes. Lately I have been applying functional-analytic methods to study these objects.

Here is a Quanta magazine article about my work on the $n$-queens problem.

Here is my curriculum vitae.

Contact Information

Email: msimkin followed by @ followed by cmsa.fas.harvard.edu
Office: 20 Garden St. 115C.

My Favorite Open Problem

An order-$n$ Latin square is an $n \times n$ matrix in which every column and every row contains all the values from $[n]$. This is equivalent to an $n \times n \times n$ $(0,1)$-array in which every row, column, and "shaft" contains a single $1$. Let $A$ be a random $n \times n \times n$ $(0,1)$-array in which the $n^3$ entries are independent random variables that equal $1$ with probability $p$. What is the threshold function $p(n)$ above which $A$ contains a Latin square with high probability?

I have TAed the following courses, all at Hebrew University:

  • Spring 2020: Discrete Mathematics: First year undergraduate course for math and CS students.
  • Spring 2019: Linear Algebra 2: Second undergraduate course in linear algebra.
  • Spring 2018: Linear Algebra 1: First year undergraduate course in linear algebra.
  • Fall2019, Fall 2018, Fall 2017, and Fall 2016: Mathematical Tools in Computer Science: Graduate course for CS students. Topics include:
    • Probability (emphasizing the probabilistic method).
    • Linear algebra: Spectral theorems and singular value decomposition for real matrices.
    • Markov chains.
    • Linear programming.
  • Spring 2017 and Fall 2015: Topics in Analysis for Computer Science Students: Second year undergraduate course for CS students. Topics include:
    • Convexity.
    • Norms, inner products, Banach and Hilbert spaces.
    • Notions of convergence for function sequences.
    • Fourier series.
  • Spring 2016 and Spring 2015: Infinitesimal Calculus 2 for Computer Science Students: Second course in undergraduate calculus.

Noam Yonat learns about triangle decompositions.

With Shanee in the French Alps.

Carrying Noam up Har HaTayasim.

Aqaba... seems more colorful in real life.