Sami Davies

Sami Davies
Math Ph.D. Student
University of Washington
Offices: PDL C-404 & CSE2 351
I'm a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, where I work between the Department of Mathematics and the theory group in the Allen School. I'm advised by Thomas Rothvoss.

Before coming to UW, I earned my B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and then my M.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Sep 28

Our work on the Santa Claus problem has been accepted for presentation at SODA 2020.

Sep 20

As of today, I’m officially a PhD Candidate! This just means I wrote a document on what I’ve been up to the past 2 years and gave a talk on it.

Jun 20

This week, I’ll be heading to FCRC in Phoenix.

Apr 20

Our paper on Tree Trace Reconstruction has been accepted for presentation at COLT 2019.

Jan 23

This weekend I’ll be in Nebraska (for the first time) for the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics. I’m happy to be attending this event as an invited graduate student, as several of my friends in grad school benefitted from it as undergraduates!

Jan 12

Heading to Baltimore this week for the AMS short course on Sum of Squares. While I’m in the city, I’ll also be visiting the theory group at Johns Hopkins for a day.

Jun 13

Next week, I’ll be at the Women in Theory Workshop in Boston. Right after, I’m heading to STOC Theory Fest in LA.

Jun 1

I’m continuing to work with FEPPS this summer as an instructor for Math 107, Math in Society. The course samples from a collection of topics like set theory, algebra, finances, and even math history.

Oct 7

Today I start volunteering with FEPPS, the Freedom Education Project for the Puget Sound. I’ll be at the Washinton Corrections Center for Women on Saturday mornings to tutor in study halls for women enrolled in FEPPS’s math courses.

Sep 23

I received the McKibben and Merner Endowed Fellowship in Mathematics for my performance on my preliminary exams and first year courses.

Sep 13

I’m relieved to say that I passed my prelim exams!

Big thanks to my friends in the math department for their collaboration and to my first year professors for their support and availability.

Current Research

Trace Reconstruction

I’ve studied generalizations of the trace reconstruction problem on trees. I’m interested in exploring similar statistical reconstruction problems.

Hypergraph Matching

Finding perfect matchings in bipartite hypergraphs is, in general, NP-hard. However, when the edges of a hypergraph satisfy certain expansion conditions, it becomes possible to study the problem algorithmically. I’m interested in studying these sufficient conditions, specifically as they relate to allocation problems.


Reconstructing Traces from Trees
COLT 2019, March 2019
A Tale of Santa Claus, Hypergraphs and Matroids
SODA 2020, July 2018
Algorithms for finding knight's tours on Aztec diamonds
Involve, a Journal of Mathematics, May 2017

Personal, but work related


I’m a certified yoga instructor, and I completed by 200 RYT in the summer of 2019. I’m teaching yoga classes at UW during the Fall 2019 quarter.


I run a lot. I really like to run. Often it’s with Race Condition Running, which is open to anyone who’d like to join us!

Inclusivity & Engagement
  • I was a mentor with the Washington Directed Reading Program during the Spring 2019 quarter.

  • I was the secretary for UW’s chapter of AWM during the 2018-2019 academic year. We host events to help create a supportive and inclusive environment for women and underrepresented minorities in mathematics (WUMiM).

  • I taught incarcerated women math through FEPPS.

  • I volunteered at UW’s Math Circles during the Spring of 2018.