: Kirk Pruhs

Phone : 412-624-8844 


Course Description


This will be an intermediate level graduate course on Approximation Algorithms. In general, the area of approximation algorithms deals with finding efficient algorithms for NP-hard problems that have known worst case performance guarantees.  We will concentrate algorithms and analysis based on mathematical programming techniques.

Course Text

We will  rather closely follow selected portions of the excellent text authored by  David Shmoys and David Williamson. The text is downloadable from the web site.

Course Format

The instructor will present the initial lectures covering section I of the text. Each student will then lecture on either one of the subsequent chapters. There will be a quite modest homework load.


The ideal background would include an introductory algorithms course such as CS 2150 and an introductory course on mathematical/linear programming (many of algorithms covered in the text use techniques normally covered in an introductory linear programming course). However, the official prerequisite is either an introductory algorithms course or an introductory course on linear programming.

Tentative Schedule