Dimitris Papailiopoulos

Jay & Cynthia Ihlenfeld Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Electrical and Computer Engineering

I am the Jay & Cynthia Ihlenfeld Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (and CS by courtesy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a faculty fellow at the Grainger Institute, and a faculty affiliate with the Optimization group at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

My research lies in the intersection of machine learning, coding theory, and optimization. I am particularly interested in the theory and practice of large-scale machine learning systems and the challenges that arise once we aim to build solutions that come with robustness and scalability guarantees. I am particuarly interested in these topics in the context of large language models and transformer architectures.

Before coming to Madison, I spent two wonderful years as a postdoc at UC Berkeley, where I was a member of the AMPLab and BLISS, and had the pleasure to collaborate with Ben Recht and Kannan Ramchandran. I received my Ph.D. in 2014 from UT Austin, where I was fortunate to be advised by Alex Dimakis. Before UT, I spent 3.5 years as a grad student at USC. Before all that, I received my M.Sc. (2009) and ECE Diploma (2007) from the Technical University of Crete (TUC), located in the beautiful city of Chania.

In 2018, I co-founded the conference on Machine Learning & Systems (MLSys), a new conference that targets research at the intersection of systems and machine learning. In 2018 and 2020, I was the program co-chair for MLSys. In 2019, I also co-chaired the 3rd Midwest Machine Learning Symposium (MMLS).

bio, resume


Most updated list available at Google Scholar

A selected list of recent papers that I'm particularly fond of:

  • The Expressive Power of Tuning Only the Norm Layers
    Angeliki Giannou, Shashank Rajput, Dimitris Papailiopoulos
    COLT 2023 [arxiv]
  • Looped Transformers as Programmable Computers
    Angeliki Giannou, Shashank Rajput, Jy-yong Sohn, Kangwook Lee, Jason D Lee, Dimitris Papailiopoulos
    ICML 2023 [arxiv]
  • Transformers as Algorithms: Generalization and Stability in In-context Learning
    Yingcong Li, M Emrullah Ildiz, Dimitris Papailiopoulos, Samet Oymak
    ICML 2023 [arxiv]
  • LIFT: Language-Interfaced Fine-Tuning for Non-Language Machine Learning Tasks
    Tuan Dinh, Yuchen Zeng, Ruisu Zhang, Ziqian Lin, Shashank Rajput, Michael Gira, Jy-yong Sohn, Dimitris Papailiopoulos, Kangwook Lee
    NeurIPS 2022 [arxiv]

Research Group

I am very fortunate to work with and learn from the following amazing colleagues




1550 Engineering Dr, M1002 Engineering Center Building,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706