Younhun (Youn) Kim

(last updated: Dec 2019)

I am a third-year graduate student at MIT pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, currently advised by Bonnie Berger and Elchanan Mossel. My mathematical interests lie at the intersection of Combinatorics and Statistics. In particular, I find probabilistic models and theoretical questions inspired by applications (i.e. biology) attractive.

My first name is pronounced "Young Hoon", without the g. My colleagues simply call me "Youn".

Teaching & Mentorship

In 2019, I will serve as a mentor for MIT PRIMES and the Directed Reading Program (DRP). In June 2018, I worked as a mentor/resident counselor for ‚ąöMathROOTS. Outside of Boston, I have been volunteering as a problem reviewer for the NYCIML Junior Division.

I've been a research mentor for high school students in PRIMES and RSI. My mentees have been Dylan Pentland (Finalist Regeneron STS 2018, Semifinalist Siemens 2017) for his project in enumerative combinatorics and Michelle Shen (Scholar Regeneron STS 2018, Semifinalist Siemens 2017) for her project in dynamical systems and modeling.

As an undergraduate at Brown, I was Head TA for CSCI 1810 (Computational Molecular Biology) for two years.


I received a Bachelor of Science degree in May 2016 from Brown University in Mathematics and Computer Science. During my time there, I was fortunate enough to be in the company of Professors Sorin Istrail and Ben Raphael.

Prior to finishing undergrad, I was employed by Orbis Systems in Jersey City, NJ as a programmer from 2009 to 2013.


  1. Kim Y, Koehler F, Moitra A, Mossel E, Ramnarayan G. How Many Subpopulations is Too Many? Exponential Lower Bounds for Inferring Population Histories. [arXiv:1811.03177] RECOMB 2019, to appear.
  2. Leiserson MD, Vandin F, Wu HT, Dobson JR, Eldridge JV, Thomas JL, Papoutsaki A, Kim Y, Niu B, McLellan M, Lawrence MS. Pan-cancer network analysis identifies combinations of rare somatic mutations across pathways and protein complexes. Nature genetics 2015. (Full Version)


  • I was a TA for Brown's first offering of CS8, a fun, introductory CS course for non-concentrators. For fun, we made a music video celebrating Scratch, featuring the amazing Professor Michael Littman! Be sure to also check out his cover of Gotye that explains a graph connectivity algorithm.
  • I am an organizer for the MIT Simple Person's Applied Math Seminar (SPAMS) for 2018 ~ 2019, taking place on Thursdays, 6pm at 2-132. Talks are thirty-minutes long, zero-pressure and are meant for fun and expository (applied) mathematics to be presented to a curious audience. We've hosted people from various departments, not just mathematics. Please join us!


The best way to get in touch is by e-mail: younhun (at) mit (dot) edu.

Department of Mathematics, Room 2-341C
Massachusetts Institute of Technology