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I am a postdoctoral research scholar in the Statistics department at Stanford University. Previously, I graduated with a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Check out my new work and talk about using the Higher Criticism for testing multinomials and attributing authorship.

My research explores subtle classification problems and interpretable statistical and machine learning models. A major tool in this area is the Higher-Criticism (HC) test. We adapted this test for detecting differences between discrete distributions and characterized its performance. In the most challenging situation, when the difference between the distribution is sparse and weak (see figure on the right), the adapted HC test has experienced a phase transition phenomenon. My recent work characterizes this phase transition.

It turns out that HC performs better than any other test in terms of this phase transition analysis. Based on this insight, We have developed and applied an HC-based test to classify text documents and in particular detect authorship; see this page for more details. When applied to authorship attribution challenges, this technique performs as well as state-of-the-art methods but without handcrafting or tuning.

Phase Transition

My PhD work provided a unified treatment of processing data under three fundamental information inhibiting processes: sampling, bit-level data compression, and random noise. While the effect of each of these processes has been well-understood before, my work shows that the combination of them undermines standard conceptions. The highlight of this work is a fundamental result showing that sampling at a rate smaller than Nyquist is optimal when the compression/quantization bitrate of the digital representation is restricted. This restriction may be the result of limited memory or communication rate as in self-driving cars, or limited processing power as in most modern data science applications.

Sub-Nyquist sampling is optimal under bitrate constraints

You can read more about my past work and future plans on my Research Statement page.


Room 208 at Sequoia Hall. My email address is alonkipnis at gmail.