CMPSCI 601: Theory of Computation

David Mix Barrington

Spring, 2010

This is the home page for CMPSCI 601. CMPSCI 601 is the graduate core course in the theory of computation and will deal primarily with complexity theory, with some forays into formal languages, computability, and logic.

The text is the new (and hence untested) textbook by Arora and Barak, called Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach. This text is available at the Textbook Annex and elsewhere.

The prerequisite for the course is the mathematical background expected of a computer science graduate student (linear algebra, discrete mathematics, statistics) plus a good undergraduate course in algorithms. An undergraduate course in the theory of computation, such as CMPSCI 401 here, should not be needed -- when we need background in formal language theory or computability I will develop it in lecture. This is a very serious mathematical course and will expect a very serious understanding of the notion of mathematical proof.

The course will meet for lecture Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:35 to 11:50 in room 140 of the CMPSCI building. In addition, there will be an optional discussion section on Fridays from 11:15-12:05, currently scheduled for room 142 of the CMPSCI building. I will not present new material in these optional classes, unless I announce in advance that we will have a regular lecture there to make up for a snow day. I will not be taking attendance, but of course I urge you to attend all lectures.

Instructor Contact Info: David Mix Barrington, Room 210 Computer Science Building, 545-4329, barring at cs dot umass dot edu. Office hours Monday 4-5, Tuesday 2-3, Thursday 10-12.

TA Contact Info: Stephen Murtagh, 545-1985, smurtagh at cs dot umass dot edu, office hours Tuesday 1-2 in LGRT 220.

Important Course Material:

Announcements (19 May 2010):

Last modified 19 May 2010