Skip to content ↓

Junior math major wins national award from computing organization

Press Inquiries

Press Contact:

Denise Brehm
Phone: 617-253-8069
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Media Download

Mihai Patrascu
Download Image
Caption: Mihai Patrascu

*Terms of Use:

Images for download on the MIT News office website are made available to non-commercial entities, press and the general public under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license. You may not alter the images provided, other than to crop them to size. A credit line must be used when reproducing images; if one is not provided below, credit the images to "MIT."

Mihai Patrascu
Mihai Patrascu

Mihai Patrascu, a junior majoring in mathematics, has been named the national Outstanding Male Undergraduate by the Computing Research Association.

Patrascu's research is in the area of data structures and algorithms. He has solved three major open problems during his three years at MIT. While still a freshman, Patrascu solved a problem in data structures that had remained open for the last 20 years--tight upper and lower bounds on the partial-sums problem. As a sophomore, he proved logarithmic lower bounds for several problems that had been conjectured to require logarithmic time for more than 20 years. And in his fourth semester at MIT, he made a major breakthrough in dynamic optimality for binary search trees.

These and related results have been published in two papers from the top theoretical computer science conferences, and in two separate papers at the premier algorithms conference. He has published four additional papers.

Patrascu also has a perfect academic record. Before entering MIT, he received numerous silver and gold medals in Informatics Olympiad competitions. Since then, he has worked as a volunteer to help organize the high-school Olympiads in Romania and the Balkans. He plans to attend graduate school to continue his study of theoretical computer science.

The Computing Research Association seeks to strengthen research and advanced education in computing and allied fields. It counts among its members more than 200 North American organizations active in computing research. It was formed in 1972 as the Computer Science Board to provide a forum for the chairs of Ph.D. granting computer science departments to discuss issues and share information.

Andrea Grimes of Northeastern University received the board's Outstanding Female Undergraduate award.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 26, 2005 (download PDF).

Related Links

Related Topics

More MIT News

The book cover has bright yellow lights like fireflies, and says, “The Transcendent Brain: Spirituality in the Age of Science; Alan Lightman, best-selling author of Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine.” On the right is a portrait of Alan Lightman.

Minds wide open

Alan Lightman’s new book asks how a sense of transcendence can exist in brains made of atoms, molecules, and neurons.

Read full story