- Instructor: Prof. Jason Hartline
- Monday (10/7/2013): [slides] algorithms, algorithm analysis, efficiency
- Wednesday (10/9/2013): [slides] intractability, NP-completeness
- Come up with a task that can be solved via several algorithms. Come up with a very bad algorithm. Come up with a good algorithm. Why is one algorithm bad and the other good?
- What is Arthur Benjamin's multiplication algorithm? How does it compare to algorithms you know for "long multiplication"?
- Come up with a scenario like Don Norman's "toilet paper algorithms" scenario where choice of algorithms is important.
- Scott Aaronson's essay gets a bit technical, but try to understand as much as possible. What is the relationship between mathematics and algorithms? Between arithmetic and algorithms?
- Come up with a problem (not mentioned in any of the readings) where a solution is easy to check, but finding a solution is hard. Bonus points if your problem is important to some academic interest of yours.
- Do you think P equals NP or not?
- What is the positive impact of P not equal to NP? Negative impact?
- What is the positive impact of P equal NP? Negative impact?
Reading and Media
Articles for the week can be obtained individually from their sources below.
- Arthur Benjamin, Arthur Benjamin does Mathemagic, TED talk, February 2005.
- Don Norman, Toilet Paper Algorithms: I didn't know you had to be a computer scientist to use toilet paper.
- (SKIM) Scott Aaronson, Prime Facts: from Euclid to AKS, 2003.
- Ian Stewart, Million Dollar Minesweeper, Scientific American, October 2000.
- Lance Fortnow, The Status of the P Versus NP Problem, CACM, September 2009.
XKCD: Travelling Salesman Problem