Computer Laboratory

John Sylvester

I am a Research Associate at the Department of Computer Science and Technology working with Thomas Sauerwald.

Before coming to Cambridge I was a PhD student at the University of Warwick under the supervision of Agelos Georgakopoulos.

Before that I studied Mathematics at University College London.

Contact Details

Dr John Sylvester
University of Cambridge
Computer Laboratory
15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0FD
United Kingdom

Email: firstname.lastname (snail symbol)
Office: FC01

Research Interests

  • Markov chains and random processes on graphs.
  • Random graphs.
  • Randomised and distributed algorithms.


  • Time dependent biased random walks. (with John Haslegrave, Thomas Sauerwald)
    In preparation, (Available here)
  • The power of two choices for random walks (with Agelos Georgakopoulos, John Haslegrave and Thomas Sauerwald)
    Preprint (arXiv:1911.05170)
  • Choice and bias for random walks (with Agelos Georgakopoulos, John Haslegrave and Thomas Sauerwald)
    Preliminary version of the above two papers, accepted at ITCS 2020
  • The dispersion time of random walks on finite graphs (with Nicolás Rivera, Thomas Sauerwald and Alexandre Stauffer)
    Submitted, Extended abstract appeared SPAA 2019 (arXiv:1808.09219)
  • Random walk hitting times and effective resistance in sparsely connected Erdős–Rényi random graphs
    Accepted in Journal of Graph Theory (arXiv:1612.00731)

Recent talks

  • Conference Talk, 11th Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science conference (ITCS), Seattle WA, USA, Jan 2020
  • Contributed Talk, Random Structures & Algorithms, Zurich, Switzerland, 15 July 2019
  • Conference Talk, 31st Symposium on Parallelism in Algorithms & Architectures (SPAA), Pheonix AZ, USA, 22 June 2019
  • Contributed Talk, STAR Workshop on Random Graphs, Groningen, Netherlands, 11 April 2019
  • Invited Talk, Combinatorics Seminar, Uni of Warwick, 12th Oct 2018
  • Invited Talk, MASDOC Retreat, Peak District, 29 April 2018
  • Invited Talk, Warwick SIAM-IMA Conference, Uni of Warwick, 15 November 2017


  • Lent term 2019/20: Part II course Probability and Computation
  • 04/11/19-08/11/19: Mathematics: Chaos or Clear Cut? - Inspiring exellence course at Villiers Park Educational Trust, Cambridgeshire