Dr. Langston's research interests include the analysis of algorithms, computational biology, discrete mathematics, fixed-parameter tractability, graph theory, optimization, parallel computation, reconfigurable computing and VLSI design. He is perhaps best known for his long-standing work on combinatorial algorithms, complexity theory and design paradigms for sequential and parallel computation. In addition to maintaining his research program, he regularly teaches courses on algorithm design, automata theory, combinatorics, graph theory and related subjects.
He has authored over 400 journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and other reports. His work has been funded in the U.S. by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and a variety of other state and federal agencies. He has been supported overseas by the Australian Research Council and the European Commission. He has served on an assortment of editorial boards, including the Association for Computing Machinery's flagship publication Communications of the ACM.
Dr. Langston has received honors for duty, teaching, research and service. Notable among these are the Commendation Medal, U.S. Army, 1979, the Distinguished Teaching Award, Texas A&M University, 1981, the Distinguished Service Prize, ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory, 2001, the College of Arts and Sciences Senior Award for Research and Creative Achievement, University of Tennessee, 2004, the Gonzalez Family Research Excellence Award, University of Tennessee, 2011, the College of Engineering Faculty Research Fellow Award, University of Tennessee, 2008 and 2012, and the Chancellor's Award for Research and Creative Achievement, University of Tennessee, 1994 and 2014.