This course is now complete. We covered most of Chapters 15,7,910 of the Arora/Barak book. The material was covered by my introducing the first half of each chapter in one lecture and the students presenting the remainder over the next lecture or two. Presentations ran from 1030 minutes long. Every student was responsible for presenting some topic from each chapter covered. The final essays explored topics not covered in the course and are available here:
 Sublineartime algorithms by Jill Cao?
 Smoothed analysis of algorithms by Nessrine Chakchouk?
 Averagecase complexity by Sheng Chen?
 The PAC framework and the strength of weak learners in computational learning theory by Ethan Dereszynski?
 Computational learning theory and reinforcement learning by Atil Iscen?
 Graph property testing by Duc Le?
 Approximation algorithms and the unique games conjecture by Jonathan Palacios?
Overview
This course will (hopefully) cover Chapters 13 and 711 of Computational Complexity by Arora and Barak. I am hoping to cover the material at a high/nontechnical level to expose you to a broad range of topics. We will consider the following questions:
 Why don't we have efficient algorithms for the problems we really need to solve?
 Do random algorithms outperform deterministic algorithms?
 Can we use computationally hard problems to devise cryptographic protocols?
 What would be the consequences of building a quantum computer?
A large part of your grade will be determined by an essay on a topic in computational complexity of your choice?.
Schedule
width="50pt"  Week
Plan

1  Review: Turing machine models, P and computability. Read: Chapter 1 of Arora/Barak References: Turing machines (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy),


2  Read: Chapter 2 of AB Presentation assignments for April 8? 

3  Proposed essay topics due: Email a description of your topic and why you are interested in it. Include at least 3 references (at least one traditionally published reference). I will give feedback on your topic as well as your general class participation as quickly as possible. From Chapter 3, we covered just the statement of Ladner's Theorem. Two proofs of Ladner's Theorem (Fortnow) and the Complexity Zoo 

4  Read: Chapter 4 Presentation assignments for April 20? The Polynomial Hierarchy (wikipedia) and it's collapse! (Scott Aaronson) 

5  Tuesday's class is cancelled. Remember that you need to visit the Writing Center  it will be easier to get an appointment earlier in the quarter. Read: Chapter 7 References: Polynomial identity testing and applications (Ronitt Rubinfeld) 6? 

6  Essay draft due: see here? for formatting details. ZPP = RP cap coRP and more (Rave Harpaz) Randomized reductions (Luca Trevisan) 

7  Tuesday's class is cancelled. 20? 

8  Peer reviews due: see here? for review guidelines. 

9  2? Quantum Superposition  cartoon description, Double slit experiment, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Quantum superposition of largerscale objects (news article) 

10  Final essay due 
Essayrelated due dates: are on Tuesday of the listed week. However, you may submit your material as late as Thursday. There are benefits to submitting your material as early as possible: quicker feedback, longer for your classmates to review your essay, etc. Extensions beyond Thursday will not be given except for reasons of health, extreme emergencies.
Evaluation
Your grade will be determined as follows:
Class participation, assignments, quizzes, wiki participation, etc  40%    Peer reviews  20% 
Essay  40% 
Assignments and quizzes will be informal and will likely be participatory. As such, I will aim to give projected grades for class participation, assignments and quizzes at weeks 3 and 7.
resources
courses
 CS523, Winter 2017
 CS523, Spring 2016
 CS325H, Winter 2016
 CS325, Fall 2015
 CS507, ECE507, Fall 2015
 CS523, Spring 2015
 CS325, Winter 2015
 CS325, Fall 2014
 CS523, Spring 2014
 CS325, Fall 2013
 CS515, Fall 2013
 CS523, Spring 2013
 CS325, Fall 2012
 CS523, Spring 2012
 CS515, Fall 2011
 CS523, Spring 2011
 CS325, Winter 2011
 CS515, Fall 2010
 CS521, Spring 2010
 CS325, Winter 2010