Lance Fortnow is professor and chair of the School of Computer Science of the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on computational complexity and its applications to economic theory.
Fortnow received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at MIT in 1989 under the supervision of Michael Sipser. Before he joined Georgia Tech in 2012, Fortnow was a professor at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, a senior research scientist at the NEC Research Institute and a one-year visitor at CWI and the University of Amsterdam. Since 2007, Fortnow holds an adjoint professorship at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.
Fortnow's research spans computational complexity and its applications, most recently to microeconomic theory. His work on interactive proof systems and time-space lower bounds for satisfiability have led to his election as a 2007 ACM Fellow. In addition he was an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow from 1992-1998 and a Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands in 1996-97.
Among his many activities, Fortnow served as the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transaction on Computation Theory, served as chair of ACM SIGACT and currently sits on the Computing Research Association board of directors. He served as chair of the IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity from 2000-2006. Fortnow originated and co-authors the Computational Complexity weblog since 2002, the first major theoretical computer science blog. He has thousands of followers on Twitter.
Fortnow's survey The Status of the P versus NP Problem is CACM's most downloaded article. Fortnow has written a popular science book The Golden Ticket: P, NP and the Search for the Impossible loosely based on that article.