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[theory-seminar] CS 353: The Practice of Theory Research

Omer Reingold reingold at
Thu Oct 24 09:51:41 PDT 2019

Hi all,

I'll be teaching a new "research methods in TOC" class next quarter (the
bulletin description is appended). I have lots of ideas about the course
but would love to get your help in making it better:

1. Please spread the word to anyone that is interested in doing research in

2. The idea of the class is to parallelize a "first experience" in TOC
research, with a bit more context than we get to give in 1-1 projects with
students. Beyond what I think is important in such a class, I'd love to get
your comments about what you would have liked to learn before starting
research or what you like students who come to work with you to know about

3. The starting point of the class would be to choose one out of three or
four recent research papers. Any recommendation for an appropriate paper
would be greatly appreciated. I'd like the papers to be: (a) rather recent,
(b) possible for students with limited knowledge to read, (c) in a
variety of areas.

Many Thanks,

Introduction to research in the Theory of Computing, with an emphasis on
research methods (the practice of research), rather than on any particular
body of knowledge. The students will participate in a limited-scope
research project: starting from reading research papers from a critical
point of view and conducting bibliography searches, through suggesting new
research directions, identifying relevant technical areas, and finally
producing and communicating new insights. The course will accompany the
projects with basic insights on the main ingredients of research.nResearch
experience is not required, but basic theory knowledge and mathematical
maturity are expected. The target participants are advanced undergrads as
well as MS students with interest in CS theory. Prerequisites: CS 161
 and CS 154
Limited class size.
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