Aleksandar Nikolov

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Canada Research Chair in Algorithms and Private Data Analysis

About me

I am broadly interested in theoretical computer science, and algorithm design, and I am a member of the Theory Group. I am also an affiliate at the Vector Institute, and a faculty fellow at the Schwartz Reisman Institute. My current research interests are in the connections between high dimensional geometry and computer science. In my work, I have applied geometric tools to the theory of private data analysis (differential privacy), discrepancy theory, and experimental design. I have also worked on computational questions in high dimensions, such as nearest neighbour search, and various geometric optimization problems. I also think about approximation algorithms, and sublinear and parallel algorithms for analyzing massive data. For more information, look in Research. If any of the above sounds intriguing, and you are a talented and motivated student interested in the theory of computing and the design of algorithms, I encourage you to apply to the University of Toronto.

Before coming to Toronto, between October 2014 and July 2015, I was a postdoc researcher in the Theory Group at Microsoft Research in Redmond. Before that, I completed my PhD in Rutgers University's Computer Science department, where I was advised by Muthu. During 2012-2014 I was supported by a Simons Graduate Fellowship.

On the more personal side: I was born in Varna, Bulgaria, right on the Black Sea coast. On my mother's side I come from a family of Banat Bulgarians. I first moved to North America to study in St. Peter's College (now University): a small Jesuit college in Jersey City. If you want to be especially friendly, and follow Slavic people's proud tradition of having arbitrary nicknames, you can call me Sasho.


I have supervised the following students:

I also regularly supervise research projects and independent studies for University of Toronto undergraduate students.


In the Winter 2023 term I am teaching CSC473 Advanced Algorithms, and CSC2412 Algorithms for Private Data Analysis.

In Fall 2015 I tought a course on discrepancy theory and applications to computer science. You can find the lecture notes here. A more recent but abbreviated set of lecture notes is here.

For more information on courses I have taught, see Courses.

Contact information