CSCI5170 Theory of Computational Complexity


Course code CSCI5170
Course title Theory of Computational Complexity
Course description This course introduces some of the following topics: deterministic and non-deterministic Turing machine, time and space complexity, NP-completeness, polynomial time hierarchy, probabilistic computation, interactive proofs, complexity of counting, concrete models such as query complexity, communication complexity, formula complexity, branching programs and circuit complexity, quantum computation, complexity-based cryptography, randomness-related topics such as derandomness, pseudorandomness, extractors, random walks, etc.
Unit(s) 3
Course level Postgraduate
Semester 1 or 2
Grading basis Graded
Grade Descriptors A/A-:  EXCELLENT – exceptionally good performance and far exceeding expectation in all or most of the course learning outcomes; demonstration of superior understanding of the subject matter, the ability to analyze problems and apply extensive knowledge, and skillful use of concepts and materials to derive proper solutions.
B+/B/B-:  GOOD – good performance in all course learning outcomes and exceeding expectation in some of them; demonstration of good understanding of the subject matter and the ability to use proper concepts and materials to solve most of the problems encountered.
C+/C/C-: FAIR – adequate performance and meeting expectation in all course learning outcomes; demonstration of adequate understanding of the subject matter and the ability to solve simple problems.
D+/D: MARGINAL – performance barely meets the expectation in the essential course learning outcomes; demonstration of partial understanding of the subject matter and the ability to solve simple problems.
F: FAILURE – performance does not meet the expectation in the essential course learning outcomes; demonstration of serious deficiencies and the need to retake the course.
Learning outcomes At the end of the course of studies, students will have acquired the ability to
1. understand the typical complexity classes and common techniques for various reductions;
2. prove lower bounds in concrete complexity models.
(for reference only)
Recommended Reading List 1. Computational Complexity—A Modern Approach, Sanjeev Arora and Boaz Barak, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
2. Computational Complexity: A Conceptual Perspective, Oded Goldreich, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
3. Boolean Function Complexity: Advances and Frontiers, Stasys Jukna, Springer, 2012.


CSCIN programme learning outcomes Course mapping
Upon completion of their studies, students will be able to:  
1. identify, formulate, and solve computer science problems (K/S);
2. design, implement, test, and evaluate a computer system, component, or algorithm to meet desired needs (K/S);
3. receive the broad education necessary to understand the impact of computer science solutions in a global and societal context (K/V); TP
4. communicate effectively (S/V);
5. succeed in research or industry related to computer science (K/S/V);
6. have solid knowledge in computer science and engineering, including programming and languages, algorithms, theory, databases, etc. (K/S); T
7. integrate well into and contribute to the local society and the global community related to computer science (K/S/V);
8. practise high standard of professional ethics (V);
9. draw on and integrate knowledge from many related areas (K/S/V);
Remarks: K = Knowledge outcomes; S = Skills outcomes; V = Values and attitude outcomes; T = Teach; P = Practice; M = Measured