Course announcement

Information Theory in Computer Science (Harvard CS 229r)

Prereq: CS 121/124/125 + Mathematical Maturity
Time: TuTh 1:00-2:30pm
Location: Maxwell-Dworkin 119

Information Theory originated in a seminal work of Shannon that attempted to formalize and quantify the theory of Communication. This theory was mostly ignored by theoretical computer science till the 1990s when tools and concepts from Information Theory started to play a central role in powerful results in the field. Notable examples include the Parallel Repetition Theorem of Raz (1994), the development of the Information Complexity measure as a means of understanding Communication Complexity (2001). Today Information Theory measures and tools influence many aspects of CS theory including analysis of streaming algorithms, differential privacy and game theory.

This course will introduce the basic concepts in information theory and then sample topics of interest to CS theory where information theoretic tools play a central role. Most of the course, after the first few "standard" lectures, will be run seminar style with students being expected to participate in the selection of topics, and the presentation and discussion of papers.

Instructor: Madhu Sudan (

Alert: Please email Madhu if you are interested in the course.