Alistair Sinclair received his BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1982, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1988. After a short period on the faculty at Edinburgh, he moved to UC Berkeley in 1994, where he is now the Kikuo Ogawa and Kaoru Ogawa Professor of Computer Science. He has held visiting positions at DIMACS, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Microsoft Research, Ecole Polytechnique, University of Paris-Orsay, and University of Rome III. His honors include the 1996 ACM-EATCS Gödel Prize (awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery and the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science) and the 2006 Fulkerson Prize (awarded by the Mathematical Programming Society and the American Mathematical Society).
His research interests focus on various applications of randomness in computer science, including randomized algorithms and Markov chain Monte Carlo, as well as on topics at the intersection of computer science and statistical physics. Alistair Sinclair was Founding Associate Director of the Simons Institute from 2012 to 2017, and was awarded the 2017 SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize for his accomplishments in this role.