Princeton University
Computer Science Department

Computer Science 116
The Computational Universe

Sanjeev Arora

Spring 2011

General Information | Lecture Notes | Handouts | Labs | Homework

Course Summary

Computers have brought the world to our fingertips. We will try to understand at a basic level the science -- old and new -- underlying this new Computational Universe. Our quest takes us on a broad sweep of scientific knowledge and related technologies: propositional logic of the ancient Greeks (microprocessors); quantum mechanics (silicon chips); network and system phenomena (internet and search engines); computational intractability (secure encryption); and efficient algorithms (genomic sequencing). Ultimately, this study makes us look anew at ourselves -- our genome; language; music; "knowledge"; and, above all, the mystery of our intelligence. This course satisfies Princeton's Science and Technology (with Lab) distribution requirement.

For a sample of the topics you can expect to see in this course, see last year's syllabus.

Administrative Information

Lectures: Tues and Thurs 1:30pm-2:50pm, Room: CS402

Labs: Wed 7:30pm-10:20pm, Room: Friend Center Room 007

Professor: Sanjeev Arora - 307 CS Building - 258-3869

Undergraduate Coordinator: Colleen Kenny-McGinley - 210 CS Building - 258-1746


Name Email Room Office hours
Dominic Kao CS bldg 103b Tues 12:30pm-1:30pm (or by appointment)

Lab TAs:

Name Email
Robert Timpe
Sinziana Munteanu