Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director
Microsoft Research New England and Microsoft Research New York
Jennifer Tour Chayes is Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which she co-founded in July 2008. Before this, she was Research Area Manager for Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science and Cryptography at Microsoft Research Redmond. Chayes joined Microsoft Research in 1997, when she co-founded the Theory Group. Her research areas include phase transitions in discrete mathematics and computer science, structural and dynamical properties of self-engineered networks, and algorithmic game theory. She is the co-author of over 100 scientific papers and the co-inventor of more than 25 patents.
Chayes has many ties to the academic community. She is Affiliate Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Washington, and was for many years Professor of Mathematics at UCLA. She serves on numerous institute boards, advisory committees and editorial boards, including the Turing Award Selection Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Board of Trustees of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the Advisory Boards of the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science, the U.S. National Committee for Mathematics, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Selection Committee for the Anita Borg Award for Technical Leadership. Chayes is a past Chair of the Mathematics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past Vice President of the American Mathematical Society.
Chayes received her B.A. in biology and physics at Wesleyan University, where she graduated first in her class, and her Ph.D. in mathematical physics at Princeton. She did her postdoctoral work in the mathematics and physics departments at Harvard and Cornell. She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Sloan Fellowship, and the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. She has twice been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Chayes is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of Computing Machinery and the Fields Institute, and a National Associate of the National Academies.