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Shanghua Teng

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University Professor, Seeley G. Mudd Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics


  • 1988, Masters, Computer Science, University of Southern California
  • 1991, PhD, Computer Science , Carnegie Mellon University
  • 1985, Bachelors, Computer Science, Shanghai Jiaotong Univ.


Dr. Shang-Hua Teng has twice won the prestigious Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science, first in 2008, for developing the theory of smoothed analysis , and then in 2015, for designing the groundbreaking nearly-linear time Laplacian solver for network systems. Both are joint work with Dan Spielman of Yale --- his long-time collaborator. Smoothed analysis is fundamental for modeling and analyzing practical algorithms, and the Laplacian paradigm has since led to several breakthroughs in network analysis, matrix computation, and optimization.

Citing him as, ``one of the most original theoretical computer scientists in the world'', the Simons Foundation named Teng a 2014 Simons Investigator, for pursuing long-term curiosity-driven fundamental research. He and his collaborators also received the best paper award at ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC) for what's considered to be the ``first improvement in 10 years'' of a fundamental optimization problem --- the computation of maximum flows and minimum cuts in a network. In addition, he is known for his joint work with Xi Chen and Xiaotie Deng that characterized the complexity for computing an approximate Nash equilibrium in game theory, and his joint papers on market equilibria in computational economics.

He and his collaborators also pioneered the development of well-shaped Dalaunay meshing algorithms for arbitrary three-dimensional geometric domains, which settled a long-term open problem in numerical simulation, also a fundamental problem in computer graphics. Software based on this development was used at the University of Illinois for the simulation of advanced rockets. Teng is also interested in mathematical board games. With his former Ph.D. student Kyle Burke, he designed and analyzed a game called Atropos , which is played on the Sperner's triangle and based on the beautiful, celebrated Sperner's Lemma. In 2000 at UIUC, Teng was named on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for his class, ``Network Security and Cryptography''.

He has worked and consulted for Microsoft Research, Akamai, IBM Almaden Research Center, Intel Corporation, Xerox PARC, and NASA Ames Research Center, for which he received fifteen patents for his work on compiler optimization, Internet technology, and social network.

Research Summary

smoothed analysis of algorithms, computational economics and game theory, spectral graph theory, scientific computing, mathematical programming, combinatorial optimization, computational geometry and computer graphics.


  • 1985 Shanghai Jiao-Tong University Top student of 1981 – 1985
  • 1989 University of Southern California Student of Outstanding Academic Achievement
  • 1994 NSF CAREER Award
  • 1996 Sloan foundation Sloan Fellow
  • 1998 IBM Award for Faculty Development
  • 1999 UIUC Senior Xerox Award
  • 2000 UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students
  • 2008 ACM/EATCS Goedel Prize
  • 2009 American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Programming Society Fulkerson Prize
  • 2010 ACM fellow
  • 2011 ACM ACM STOC Best Paper Award
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics

  • RTH 402
  • Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering
  • 3710 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 781

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-4494
  • shanghua@usc.edu


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