About Alex Tang

Alex Tang

I am currently a PhD student in Computer Science at Northwestern University advised by Prof. Aravindan Vijayaraghavan and a member of the NUCS Theory Group.

My research focuses on theoretical machine learning, privacy and information theory. One of my research directions is to exploit the nature of privacy to guarantee effective learning through the mathematical language of information theory, where my recent work provided a novel view of privacy in learning as a possible trade-off between accuracy and indistinguishability.

I am also a full-stack web application developer. Please refer to my GitHub Homepage for projects I've worked on before.

  • Position: PhD Student in Computer Science
  • Contact: Mudd 3016
    Department of Computer Science
    Northwestern University
    Evanston, IL 60201
  • Email: alextang[at]u[dot]northwestern[dot]edu

Publications   (Authors of all papers are listed in alphabetical order. Why?)

Efficient Algorithms for Learning Depth-2 Neural Networks with General ReLU Activations

Link to Paper
Joint Work with Pranjal Awasthi, Aravindan Vijayaraghavan
to appear in NeurIPS 2021

Information-theoretic Analysis on Generalization of Differentially Private Statistics and Learning Algorithms

Link to Paper
Working Paper, 2020

Reserach & Teaching Experience


Teaching Assistant

CS335: Introduction to Theory of Computation, Northwestern University


Research Assistant

Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica

I conducted mathematical analysis of MapReduce algorithms on genome sequencing problems by introducing statistical learning theory to obtain performance bounds and optimizations. The final goal is to generalize the result as an alternative approach for tackling load-balance issues in MapReduce applications.

Industrial Experience


Research and Development Engineer Intern

Institute for Information Industry

Pepper the Robot: Engaged in developing back-end programs of Pepper to receive and parse the given orders.

MORE API Service: Participated in the development of software systems for geographical and social media data processing.


Software Developer


Assisted the development of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and web services for startups.


2019 -

Ph.D. in Computer Science

Northwestern University   Evanston, IL.
2019 - 2021

M.S. in Computer Science

Northwestern University   Evanston, IL.
2015 - 2019

B.S. in Electrical Engineering

National Taiwan University   Taipei, Taiwan