Columbia Undergraduate Learning Seminar in Theoretical Computer Science

Fall 2022

During Fall 2022, we held three groups, each focused on a different topic within TCS. The groups were: A Theorist's Toolkit, Graph Theory, and Formal Semantics of Programming Languages. Each group was run by an undergraduate student organizer along with a graduate student mentor.

Please see the descriptions and tables below for a summary and the list of talks for each of the groups.

This was the fifth iteration of the TCS seminar. The seminar was run by Alex Lindenbaum.

The Theorist's Toolkit

Organizer: Yunya. Graduate student mentor: Shivam.

Description: We followed the great CMU course of the same name and "took a random walk through various mathematical topics that come in handy for theoretical computer science."
Date Topic Speaker
September 29th Asymptotics Yunya
October 6th Probability Shivam
October 13th Probability Shivam
October 20th Spectral Graph Theory Ekene
October 27th Spectral Graph Theory Shiv
November 3rd Boolean Functions and their Analysis Yunya
November 10th Fields and Polynomials Yuhao
November 17th Probabilistically Checkable Proofs Ryan

Graph Theory

Organizer: Remy and Ari. Graduate student mentor: Hantao.

Description: We worked through Diestel's book on Graph Theory starting with the very fundamentals and working towards topics such as Extremal Graph Theory and Ramsey numbers.

Resource Title Link
Diestel Graph Theory Link (access on Columbia WiFi)
Date Topic Discussion Leader Reading

Formal Semantics of Programming Languages

Organizer: Adiba. Graduate student mentor: John.

Description: We carved out a mathematical theory for understanding and reasoning about how computer programs behave at the level of functions. We introduced and developed the lambda calculus - a model for computation that is "the same but different" as the Turing machine - and applied it to evaluation order, types, and other topics in programming language theory.

Resource Title Link
Date Topic Discussion Leader Reading

Previous Semesters

Summer 2022

Spring 2022

Fall 2021

Summer 2021