The project is the most important component of the course. It can take several forms:

  • Bring a theoretical contribution to the field (solve a problem, formulate an interesting open problem or conjecture, etc.).
  • Survey a few papers on a related topic (not already well-covered by the class).
  • Substantially improve the Wikipedia articles for several topics related to the class.
  • Implement / visualize one or more reductions. Your program should take in a description of an instance of a problem and output a corresponding instance of another problem. Some attention should be paid to the layout and aesthetics of the output.
  • Create an art project based on the ideas in the class. Your work should be both aesthetically compelling and technically grounded (though the latter need not be explicitly visible). You may use any medium you wish, but the challenge of working with that form will be taken into consideration.

You are encouraged to relate the final project to your research interests, and you will not be limited to the topics discussed in class.

Project Proposal

You must submit a project proposal via email to the staff. The proposal should be about one page long (not more than two). It should discuss the problem you chose in a clear and specific way.

We decide whether to approve your project’s theme based on the proposal, so it is imperative that you do some serious thinking about the project before writing the proposal. Even though you should not change the topic of the project after submitting a proposal, you may change the form of the project (such as writing a survey if you fail in bringing a theoretical contribution).

Final Project Policies

  • The project write-up may be done individually or in groups, though for groups we expect proportionally larger projects. As always in research, you are allowed and encouraged to consult with anybody, including the teaching staff.
  • You must submit a paper via email on the day of our last class, which should be on the order of 10 pages.
  • You are also required to do a presentation during the last few lectures.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2014
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Problem Sets with Solutions
Lecture Notes
Instructor Insights