Dr Will Perkins

Dr Will Perkins

School of Mathematics
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

School of Mathematics
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Will Perkins is a Birmingham Fellow in the Combinatorics group of the School of Mathematics.  Previously he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

His research lies at the intersection of probability, theoretical computer science, and statistics.  


  • PhD in Mathematics, New York University, 2011.
  • B.A. in History, Yale University, 2003.


Will Perkins studied History at Yale University, graduating in 2003 with a B.A.  He then coached rowing at St. Ignatius high school in Chicago and the University of Michigan. 

He received a PhD in mathematics from New York University in 2011, then was a postdoc at Georgia Tech from 2011-2014.  He came to Birmingham as a Birmingham Fellow in January 2015.  

Postgraduate supervision

Will Perkins is interested in supervising PhD students in mathematics.  Please email him if you are interested.


Themes in Will's research:

  1. Understanding the properties of random structures (random graphs, random computational problems, random arrangements of geometric objects)
  2. Phase transitions
  3. Average-case complexity: understanding the computational complexity (algorithms and negative results) for randomly chosen instances of computational problems. 


V. Feldman, W. Perkins, S. Vempala, “On the Complexity of Random Satisfiability Problems with Planted Solutions”, ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, 2015, to appear.

O. Louidor, W. Perkins, “Large Deviations for the Empirical Distribution in the Branching Random Walk”, Electronic Journal of Probability, 2015.

W. Perkins, “Random k-SAT and the Power of Two Choices”, Random Structures and Algorithms, 2014.

W. Perkins, M. Tygert, R. Ward, “Some deficiencies of Chi-Square and classical exact tests of significance”, Applied and Computational Harmonic Analysis, 2014.

M. Kang, W. Perkins, J. Spencer, “The Bohman-Frieze Process Near Criticality”, Random Structures and Algorithms, 2013.

W. Perkins, M. Tygert, R. Ward, “Computing the confidence levels for a root-mean-square test of goodness-of-fit”, Applied Mathematics and Computation, 2011.

I. Dinur, S. Khot, W. Perkins, M. Safra, “Hardness of Finding Independent Sets in Almost 3-Colorable Graphs”, Symposium of Foundations of Computer Science, 2010.