CMSC 858C, Randomized Algorithms, Spring 2017: Tue, Thu 9:30-10:45AM, CSI 3120
Office: AVW 3263, Phone: 301-405-2695
Instructor's office Hours: Tue, Thu 1-2 in AVW 3263
(additional slots by appointment; Aravind is happy to talk to students)
Course Time and Location: Tue, Thu
9:30-10:45AM, CSIC 3120
Half-TA: Khoa Trinh
tl;dr -- Students: please add
yourselves to the Piazza page for
the class! We will use Piazza extensively.
The approximate schedule thus far is
We will largely cover a range of topics similar to the Spring 2015 offering: please see
here for that 2015 schedule.
Some major paradigms underlying the utility of randomization are marked in
green. In addition, we will place an
emphasis on the following topics:
There will be no required textbook for this course; we will distribute
notes for a good part of the class, with students studying these notes at
home and with many classes devoted to problem-solving after a quick recap of
the notes. Four excellent books in this field are:
Grading: We will have a take-home mid-term and in-class
final. The grade will be determined by: Homework 30%, Mid-term 25%,
Final 35%, and Class Project 10%.
Enthusiastic participation is strongly encouraged.
- the probabilistic method, which, in addition to significant interest in
its own right, serves as an excellent vehicle to learn probabilistic-analysis
- dependent random choice and dependent randomized rounding;
- problems involving matroids and submodular functions.
Homework and Handouts: We will have some graded and some ungraded
homework assignments. Students will work in groups of three for all graded
homework assignments, and are also urged to complete the
ungraded assignments (solutions to which will be provided).
HW1, due Feb 14th
HW2, due Mar 2nd
HW3, due Mar 13th
Exams: The final will be during the university's
official time: in our classroom CSIC 3120, 8-10AM on Monday,
May 15th. The mid-term date will be take-home: given out March 13th and due
General Info: Class participation is strongly encouraged;
students are urged to come to the office hours if they have questions, and
can also email Aravind to setup alternative times if they cannot attend the
regular office hours. A few lectures will be rescheduled (or covered by
guest lectures) during Aravind's travel; very few of the office hours
may also be canceled. (Again, students are always welcome to email Aravind
to setup additional meeting-times as needed -- discussions with students
are among the high points of his day!)
See the university's policy on medically-necessitated absence from class. The
"Major Scheduled Grading Events" for this course are the mid-term and
final exams; students claiming an excused absence from these events
must apply in writing and furnish documentary support (such as from a
health-care professional who treated
the student) for any assertion that the absence qualifies as an excused
absence. The support should explicitly indicate the dates or times the
student was incapacitated due to illness. Self-documentation of illness
is not itself sufficient support to excuse the absence. An instructor
is not under obligation to offer a substitute assignment or to give a
student a make-up assessment unless the failure to perform was due to
an excused absence.
Academic Accommodations for Disabilities
Any student eligible for and requesting reasonable academic accommodations
due to a disability is requested to provide, to the instructor in office
hours, a letter of accommodation from the Office of Disability Support
Services (DSS) within the first two weeks of the semester.
The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized
Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council.
This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all
undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible
for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for
you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication,
facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of
Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit
To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, remember to
sign the Honor Pledge on all examinations and assignments: "I pledge on
my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance
on this examination (assignment)."