CS 2110 Theory of Computation

Fall 2013





Kirk Pruhs                                     

Email: kirk@cs.pitt.edu                         
Office: 6415 Sennot Square
Office hours: 2:00-3:00 Mon, Wed, Fri. If you can catch me in my office on these days, I'm probably happy to talk to you unless I have a paper/grant deadline.


Michael Nugent
Email: mpn1@pitt.edu
Office: 6406 Sennot Square
Office hours: 2:00-3:30 Tuesday and 10:30-12 Thursday

Class Time and Location

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 - 11:15 in room 6516 Sennott Square. The course is scheduled three times per week to allow me to miss some weeks to travel for academic conferences/collaborations. The total number of meetings will be the same as a normal two lecture per week course.


Course Description

We will loosely follow the first eleven chapters of the text by Arora and Boaz. If there is time left after this, I will pick an advanced topic or two from the text to cover.

Old Final exams

Course Format

I will give all of the lectures. There will be homework assignments and a final exam, that will count equally in the final grade. You may work in groups of size 3 or 4 on the homeworks. You may talk to others in the class about the homework, but may not consult any outside source (e.g. other students, the www, other texts ...) to help solve the homework problems. Solutions are due at the start of class when they are due, and must be written using LaTeX. Figures may be hand drawn.

Tentative Schedule

Historical (pre 1970) Results Chapter 1

P, PH and PSPACE Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 (1970's)

Circuits Chapter 6 (1970's)

Randomization Chapter 7 (1970's)

Interactive Proofs Chapter 8 (1980's)

Cryptography Chapter 9 (Mostly 1980's)


Quantum Computation Chapter 10 (Mostly 1990's)

Approximation Algorithms Chapter 11 (Mostly 1990's)

Information Theoretic Lower Bounds Chapers 12 and 13