Sihan Liu


Sihan Liu

Sihan Liu's Personal Page (刘思涵)

I am a second-year PhD student in UC San Diego's theoretical computer science group, where I am fortunate to be advised by Daniel Kane.

I did my undergraduate BS in Computer Science at University of Wisconsin Madison and was lucky enough to work with Ilias Diakonikolas and Christos Tzamos.

I am interested in algorithmic and statistical problems related to the foundations of machine learning.

- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.

My music collection

  1. Kamado Tanjiro no Uta - Demon Slayer OST
  2. Akuma no Ko - Attack on Titan Ending
  3. Rachmaninoff Liebesleid (Love's Sorrow)
  4. Sparkling Daydream - Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Opening


Efficient Testable Learning of Halfspaces with Adversarial Label Noise
with Ilias Diakonikolas, Daniel Kane, Vasilis Kontonis, Nikos Zarifis
  • In submission. Link
  • See the framework of Testable Learning here.
Exponential Hardness of Reinforcement Learning with Linear Function Approximation
with Daniel Kane, Shachar Lovett, Gaurav Mahajan, Csaba Szepesvári, Gellért Weisz
  • Accepted to COLT 2023. Link
  • Strengthens the computational lower bound for RL with linear function approximation under Randomized Exponential Time Hypothesis.
Sampling Equilibria: Fast No-Regret Learning in Structured Games
with Daniel Beaglehole, Max Hopkins, Daniel Kane, Shachar Lovett
  • Accepted to SODA 2023. Link
  • Develops a general framework of sampling equilibria from games of large state space.
  • Fast algorithm for computing approximate equilibria for Colonel Blotto Game.
Nearly-Tight Bounds for Testing Histogram Distributions
with Clément Canonne, Ilias Diakonikolas, Daniel Kane
  • Accepted to NeurIPS 2022. Link
  • Obtains nearly optimal algorithm for histogram testing. Story behind
  • Derives nearly matching sample complexity lower bound.
Computational-Statistical Gaps in Reinforcement Learning
with Daniel Kane, Shachar Lovett, Gaurav Mahajan
2021.10 - 2022.2
  • Accepted to COLT 2022. Link
  • Shows the first computational lower bound for RL with linear function approximation.
Convergence and Sample Complexity of SGD in GANs
with Christos Tzamos, Vasilis Kontonis
2020.1 - 2020.10
  • Obtains theoretical guarantees on nearly optimal sample complexity and convergence rate of Generative Adversarial Networks in learning one-layer non-linear neural nets.
  • Selected to present at CS Student Research Symposium. Link to Manuscript

Other Experience

Competitive Programming
2018 - Present (in reality, 2021)
Dieter van Melkebeek
Achievements: 2019 ICPC North Central NA Regional Contest #3 over 183 teams (Team NP-Easiness), Codejam Round 2 Top 3% (leo990629), Hackercup Round 2 Top 10% (sihan.liu.3139).
Software Enginner Intern in DataChat
2019.6 - 2021.5
DataChat Inc.
  • Constrained Natural Language (CNL) parsing: intention inference and entity retrieval from structured natural language.
  • Autocomplete Engine: provide data-sensitive suggestions in the middle of typing.
  • Linter: semantic highlighting in user input.
  • Skills used: React.js + Redux + Saga, Golang, Python, RedisStore, spaCy.


Bachelor degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics (4.0/4.0)
GPA: 4.0/4.0
Dewitt Undergraduate Scholarship
Coursework: Learning Theory, Advanced Algorithm, Algorithmic Game Theory, Mechanism Design, Quantum Computing
University of Wisconsin Madison
2017 - 2021

Class Projects