Damek Davis
NSF Mathematics Postdoctoral Fellow
UCLA Department of mathematics
Email: My first name at math.ucla.edu


Interested in working with me? Then please read this and send me an email containing at least one of the following things:

1. A problem that you’ve been thinking about;

2. An application that you know a lot about and that we can work on together;

3. A research paper that you find really interesting;

4. A research paper written by you;

5. Software, written by you.

Academic Positions

For the 2015-2016 academic year, I am an NSF math postdoc fellow at UCLA.

In Fall 2016, I will join Cornell University's School of Operations Research and Information Engineering as an Assistant Professor.


I am interested in algorithms, particularly for solving continuous optimization problems. Lately, I have been thinking about large-scale problems which are big enough that a single computer, like my laptop, cannot solve them easily. Usually, I find these problems in machine learning, signal processing, and statistics.


For up-to-date citation counts, see my Google Scholar page.


I have several papers and preprints on optimization algorithms, some of which are published in SIAM Journal on Optimization; four of these papers determine the speed of first-order optimization algorithms [1],[2],[3],[4]; three of these papers introduce new first-order operator-splitting schemes [5],[6],[7]; and one of these papers introduces a fast algorithm for projecting on the ordered-weighted l1 norm ball (also called the sorted l1 norm) [8].

Computer Vision

I have two CVPR papers, one on feature designing for images and videos [1] and another on feature retrieval in large databases [2].


I have three papers on Air Traffic Management published in Journal of Aerospace Systems, Journal of Dynamical Systems and Control, and Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies; one is a survey on mathematical tools in air traffic management [1]; and the other two contain algorithms for scheduling aircraft landings in terminal airspace [2] [3].

Commutative algebra

I have one Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society paper, written in the summer of my junior undergraduate year at UCI, that determines when a certain class of subrings of power series rings are Noetherian and factorial [1].



  • No teaching.


  • In Fall 2014, I TA’d mathematical optimization at UCLA.

Honors and Awards

In the past, my research has received several awards including both the NSF graduate (2010) and math postdoctoral fellowships (2015), the Pacific Journal of Mathematics Dissertation Prize (2015), the INFORMS Optimization Society student paper prize (2014), and as an undergraduate, I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in my junior year.


I have given talks or poster presentations of my work at Cornell (2015); University of California, Los Angeles (2010-2015); Stanford (2015); University of Washington, Seattle (2015); University of Waterloo (2015); University of Wisconsin, Madison (2015, 2016); CVPR (2014); International Symposium on Mathematical Programming (2015); INFORMS annual meeting (2014-2016); INFORMS international meeting (2016); SIAM Imaging conference (2016); and SIAM annual meeting (2016).


I regularly review articles for several optimization journals and conferences. I will chair a general session at the INFORMS 2016 international meeting. I have sat on panels that help students with fellowship applications, and I have helped students individually too.


  • (12-10-2015) I just uploaded a new paper on the Stochastic Monotone Aggregated Root-Finding (SMART) algorithm. Check it out now, and in the coming weeks, I’ll write some blog posts about how to use the algorithm.

  • (7-13-2015) Slides from my ISMP 2015 presentation are available here.

  • (5-14-2015) I passed my final oral exam today!

  • (5-13-2015) I won the 2015 Pacific Journal of Mathematics Dissertation Prize.

  • (4-01-2015) In Fall 2016 I will join Cornell ORIE as an Assistant Professor.

  • (12-22-2014) The video of my 12 minute INFORMS talk is available here.

  • (11-28-2014) I'm on the job market. Please contact me for my research and teaching statements.