Princeton University
Computer Science Department

Computer Science 240
Reasoning about Computation

Ran Raz

Spring 2023

General Information | Schedule | Policies


An introduction to mathematical topics relevant to computer science. Combinatorics, probability and graph theory will be covered in the context of computer science applications. The course will present a computer science approach to thinking and modeling. Students will be introduced to fundamental concepts in theoretical computer science, such as NP-completeness and cryptography that arise from the world view of efficient computation.

Course Content

We will cover basic topics in math that are important in computer science as well as basic topics in theoretical computer science. The following is a rough estimation of the number of lectures spent on each topic: Mathematical Proofs (1.5 lectures); Combinatorics (2 lectures); Probability Theory (6 lectures); Midterm Exam (replacing 1 lecture); Graph Theory (4 lectures); Game Theory (1.5 lectures); Countable vs Uncountable Sets (1 lecture); Theoretical Computer Science (Computability, Complexity, Cryptography) (7 lectures).

Administrative Information


MW 3:00PM-4:20PM, Computer Science Building 104


Please direct questions concerning your precept assignment to Colleen Kenny-McGinley, the CS Department's Undergraduate Program Manager. Colleen's contact information is provided later on this page. The course's professor, lead preceptors, and graduate student preceptors do not manage precept assignments.

Number Meeting Time Meeting Place Preceptor
1 Th 12:30PM-1:20PM Friend Center 108 Dmitry Paramonov
2 Th 12:30PM-1:20PM Friend Center 109 Iasonas Petras
3 Th 2:30PM-3:20PM Computer Science Building 105 Iasonas Petras
4 F 10:00AM-10:50AM Friend Center 009 Constance Ferragu
5 F 10:00AM-10:50AM Friend Center 108 Jake Ross Silverman
6 F 1:30PM-2:20PM Friend Center 009 Anirudh Ajith
7 F 1:30PM-2:20PM Friend Center 108 Shruthi Iyer Santhanam

Lead Instructor

Ran Raz, Ph.D. : email: ranr (at)

Faculty Lead Preceptor

Iasonas Petras, Ph.D. : email: ipetras (at)

Office Hours: M from 11:00AM to 3:00PM


Anirudh Ajith : email: aa8052 (at)

Office Hours: M from 1:00PM to 3:00PM

Constance Ferragu : email: cf7551 (at)

Office Hours: F from 11:00AM to 1:00PM

Dmitry Paramonov : email: dp20 (at)

Office Hours: W from 4:30PM to 6:30PM

Shruthi Iyer Santhanam : email: ss5542 (at)

Office Hours: Tu from noon to 2:00PM

Jake Ross Silverman : email: jakers (at)

Office Hours: Th from 2:30PM to 4:30PM

Precepts start on Thursday 2/2

Preceptors' office hours start on Monday 2/6

Undergraduate Graders

Aditya Mehta

Andrew Webb

Aneesh Tekulapally

Arnav Kumar

Colby Riley

Erica Hsueh

Natalie Reptak

Venkat Manepalli

Lab Teaching Assistants

Annie Liang

Eric Ahn

Grant Lu

Liam Esparraguera

Nicholas Allen

Raymond Liu

Richard Li

Rishi Dange

Undergraduate Coordinator

Colleen Kenny-McGinley : CS Building 210, email: ckenny (at)


COS 126 and 226 (or sufficient mathematical background), and MAT 175 or MAT 202 or MAT 204. COS 226 can be taken along with COS 240 in the same term.

Textbooks and Other Reading

Academic Regulations

Please study the course Policies webpage.