Computational Complexity

This course is an introduction to the theory of computational complexity.

Course objectives. By the end of the course, you should have a broad understanding of the various notions used in computational complexity theory to classify computational problems as hard or easy to solve. You are expected to become familiar with the important complexity classes, how they are related to each other, typical problems in those classes, and some of the central open problems in the field. You should be able to follow the proofs, and develop a feel for the techniques used in reasoning about computational complexity. The course will also briefly introduce you to applications of complexity theory to cryptography.

Course contents. The course will mostly follow (a subset of) the material in the textbook. Additional reading material, when required, will be given out in class. Slides from the lectures and homework assignments will appear in this webpage.

Work involved. Read the textbook (relevant sections); attend the lectures; read and ponder over references/handouts given in class. Grading will be based on assignments (75%), easy/short class-tests (20%) and class-participation (5%). Assignments will typically be given out on a Tuesday and will be due in class after two weeks. Class-tests will be announced a week in advance.

Prerequisites. This is a graduate course, aimed at Computer Science, ECE and Mathematics students with an interest in theoretical computer science. Some familiarity with basic theory of computation, and some mathematical maturity will be expected.

Office hours. Prof. Prabhakaran's office hours are Thursdays 1:30-3:00pm, every week (unless otherwise announced in class). TA Mike Rosulek's office hours are Mondays 1-2:30pm. Please do come for the office hours if you found anything mysterious (or missed anything) in the lectures, class-tests or assignments. You are also welcome to drop by and chat about the content/structure of the course during the office hours. Feel free to send us e-mails anytime if you have any questions or comments.

Lectures so far