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Course Info

  • Course Number / Code:
  • 6.089 (Spring 2008) 
  • Course Title:
  • Great Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science 
  • Course Level:
  • Undergraduate 
  • Offered by :
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Massachusetts, United States  
  • Department:
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 
  • Course Instructor(s):
  • Prof. Scott Aaronson 
  • Course Introduction:
  •  


  • 6.080 / 6.089 Great Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science



    Spring 2008




    Course Highlights




    6.080 / 6.089 Great Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science



    Spring 2008


    Drawing of a person in a room, interpreting slips of paper with a rulebook.
    Searle's Chinese Room, a thought experiment discussed in lecture 6. (Image courtesy of Tiffany Wang.)


    Course Description


    This course provides a challenging introduction to some of the central ideas of theoretical computer science. It attempts to present a vision of "computer science beyond computers": that is, CS as a set of mathematical tools for understanding complex systems such as universes and minds. Beginning in antiquity—with Euclid's algorithm and other ancient examples of computational thinking—the course will progress rapidly through propositional logic, Turing machines and computability, finite automata, Gödel's theorems, efficient algorithms and reducibility, NP-completeness, the P versus NP problem, decision trees and other concrete computational models, the power of randomness, cryptography and one-way functions, computational theories of learning, interactive proofs, and quantum computing and the physical limits of computation. Class participation is essential, as the class will include discussion and debate about the implications of many of these ideas.
     

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
This course content is a redistribution of MIT Open Courses. Access to the course materials is free to all users.






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