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COMPSCI 121 - Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science or return to Course Catalog Search

119064 – Section 001   

Faculty of Arts and SciencesComputer ScienceBoaz Barak
TermDay and TimeLocation
Fall 2019-2020  (show academic calendar)TuTh   10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.Science Ctr Hall C (FAS)
4  (show credit conversion for other schools)
Credit Level
Graduate and Undergraduate

Computation occurs over a variety of substrates including silicon, neurons, DNA, the stock market, bee colonies and many others. In this course we will study the fundamental capabilities and limitations of computation, including the phenomenon of universality and the duality of code and data. Some of the questions we will touch upon include: Are there functions that cannot be computed? Are there true mathematical statements that can?t be proven? Are there encryption schemes that can?t be broken? Is randomness ever useful for computing? Can we use the quirks of quantum mechanics to speed up computation?

Recommended: Experience in formal mathematics at the level of CS 20. A "Homework Zero" will be posted on the course website <a href="http://www.boazbarak.org/cs121/">cs121.boazbarak.org</a> by July 1st. It is highly recommended that students complete it before the first lecture.

Midterms will be on Thursday, October 10, 7pm and Thursday, November 14, 7pm. Students may not receive credit for both CS 121 and CS 125.

Exam Group

Cross Registration
Eligible for cross-registration
With permission of instructor/subject to availability

MIT students please cross register from MIT's Add/Drop application.