• USA-2009

    For efficient algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems based on randomization.

  • USA-1994

    For his dissertation "Random Sampling in Graph Optimization Problems."

Karger splits his research between algorithms and information retrieval. His work in algorithms has focused on applications of randomization to optimization problems and led to significant progress on several core problems. He has also researched applications of theoretical ideas to applied areas such as compilers and networks.

His dissertation received the 1994 ACM doctoral dissertation award and the Mathematical Programming Society's 1997 Tucker Prize. His research in information retrieval has focused on new interfaces and algorithms for helping people sift effectively through large masses of information. His work on the Scatter/Gether browsing system at Xerox PARC led to two patents.

More recently he has been researching retrieval systems that personalize themselves to best fit their individual users' needs and behaviors. He recently received the National Academy of Science's 2004 Award for Initiative in research.