CS388R: Randomized Algorithms (Fall 2015)

Logistics: Mon/Wed 12:30 - 2:00
GDC 5.302
Course web page: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~ecprice/courses/randomized/
Professor: Eric Price
Email: ecprice@cs.utexas.edu
Office: GDC 4.510
Office Hours: 2-3pm Tuesday
TA: Xue Chen
Email: xchen@cs.utexas.edu
Office Hours: 10-11am Tuesday and 1-2pm Friday in the TA station (GDC 1.302)
Useful References: Similar courses are offered at MIT and Berkeley.
Problem Sets:
Lecture Notes:
Content: This graduate course will study the use of randomness in algorithms. Over the past thirty years, randomization has become an increasingly important part of theoretical computer science. The tentative outline for the course is as follows:
  • Basic probability; the minimax principle; limited independence
  • More advanced concentration of measure: subgaussian and subgamma variables
  • Balls in bins; negatively associated random variables
  • Hashing: universal, perfect, cuckoo
  • Fingerprinting; Bloom filters
  • Network coding; edge connectivity
  • Graph sparsification
  • Parallel algorithms; symmetry breaking
  • Randomized approximation algorithms
  • Streaming algorithms
  • Stochastic gradient descent; SVRG
  • Random walks: cover times, markov chains, mixing rates.
  • Derandomization
Prerequisites: Mathematical maturity and comfort with undergraduate algorithms and basic probability.
Grading: 40%: Homework
15%: Final exam
15%: Midterm exam
20%: Scribing lectures
10%: Participation
Scribing: In each class, two students will be assigned to take notes. These notes should be written up in a standard LaTeX format before the next class.
Text: Randomized Algorithms by Motwani and Raghavan. Note that many topics covered in the course will not appear in the textbook.
There will be a homework assignment every 1-2 weeks.

Collaboration policy: You are encouraged to collaborate on homework. However, you must write up your own solutions. You should also state the names of those you collaborated with on the first page of your submission.
Students with
Any student with a documented disability (physical or cognitive) who requires academic accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259 (voice) or 471-4641 (TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations.