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[theory-seminar] Course Announcement: CS351, Open Problems in Coding Theory

Mary Wootters marykw at
Fri Mar 19 11:09:37 PDT 2021

Hi all,

I'm teaching a new class in the spring, CS351, named "Open Problems in
Coding Theory", that might be of interest to folks on this list.  The goals
of the course are to (a) explore the research frontier in coding theory,
(b) get practice with research skills like reading papers,
identifying/formulating open problems, and breaking down research problems
into manageable steps and toy problems; and (c) have some fun actually
thinking about open problems!

Here's a course blurb:
*Coding theory is the study of how to encode data to protect it from noise.
Coding theory touches CS, EE, math, and many other areas, and there are
exciting open problems at all of these frontiers. In this class, we will
explore these open problems by reading recent research papers and thinking
about some open problems together. Required work will involve reading and
presenting research papers, as well as working in small groups to formulate
and work on open problems and presenting progress. (Solving an open problem
is not required!) Topics will depend on student interest and may include
locality, list decoding, index coding, interactive communication, and group

I hope that the course will be accessible to anyone who knows a bit about
coding theory -- eg, if you've taken CS250/EE387 or a similar course --
even if you haven't done research before.  However, I hope that the course
will also be fun and interesting if you are a seasoned researcher looking
to learn more about coding theory, or to work on some coding theory
problems with a group.

The course will meet once a week on Fridays in a marathon session from
1-3:50pm.  We will break up the time with a variety of activities,
including student presentations, brainstorming in small groups, and invited

Please let me know if you have any questions about the class!


Mary Wootters (she/her)
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Stanford University
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