Brian Brubach

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

I love designing algorithms and exploring CS theory applied to e-commerce, fairness in machine learning, democracy, and bioinformatics.

I have broad research interests in algorithms and theoretical computer science motivated by a range of social good applications. On the theoretical side, much of my work falls into the categories of approximation algorithms, online algorithms, randomized algorithms, data-driven algorithms, and combinatorial optimization. This means I’m often looking for the best possible solution to problems we don’t expect to be able to solve optimally. My favorite problems to study usually involve some combination of matching, clustering, strings, and uncertainty (e.g., stochastic matching). On the applied side, I draw on problems from e-commerce, fairness in machine learning and automated systems, mechanism design for social good, the U.S. electoral system, and genomics/metagenomics. In the future, I hope to develop more interdisciplinary collaborations and strengthen the connections between theory and practice in my work.

I’m excited to teach a number of core computer science courses at Wellesley and some new electives. I’ve taught CS 115 Computing for the Socio-Techno Web and CS 231 Fundamental Algorithms so far. My favorite thing about CS 115 is teaching coding within the context of its social implications at a time when our society is reckoning with the consequences of computer technology. CS 231 is central to my research and was one of the most important courses I’ve taken as a student (with two B.A.s!). So it’s wonderful to share that material with others. In the future, I’m looking forward to teaching other introductory courses and more advanced algorithms electives.

My other professional interests include service, mentorship, and community building. Throughout all of my work, I’m devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion in computer science. Before studying computer science, I was a freelance filmmaker and non-profit educator. As a teaching artist, I had the opportunity to work with amazing students, parents, teachers, and artists in several Chicago public schools.

Outside of computer science, I love spending time with my family, designing and playing board games, listening to music and podcasts, watching movies, biking, hiking, and cooking/eating vegetarian food.