All of the readings are from the draft monograph Pseudorandomness.
Date 
Title 
Reading/Reference 
Jan 24 
Introduction (Course overview)

Ch. 1 
Jan 26 
Class cancelled 

The Power of Randomness


Jan 31 
Randomized Algorithms and Complexity
Classes 
Sec. 2.12.3.1 
Problem Set 1 (due 2/11) 
Probs. 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 [pdf] 

Feb 2 
Sampling and Approximation Problems 
Sec. 2.3.22.4 
Basic Derandomization Techniques 

Feb 7 
Enumeration, Nonuniformity, Nondeterminism 
Sec. 3.13.3 
Feb 9 
Conditional Expectations, Pairwise Independence 
Sec. 3.43.5 
Problem Set 2 (due 2/25) 
[pdf] 

Expander Graphs 

Feb 14 
Measures of Expansion, Existence 
Sec. 4.1 
Feb 16 
Random Walks on Expanders, Algebraic Constructions 
Sec. 4.24.3.1 
Feb 21 
No class (Presidents' Day) 

Feb 23 
Explicit Constructions, USTCONN in L 
Sec. 4.3.24.4 
Problem Set 3 (due 3/11) 
[pdf] 

ListDecodable Codes 

Feb 28 
Definition & Existence 
Sec. 5.1 
Mar 2 
ListDecoding Algorithms 
Sec. 5.2 
Mar 7 
ListDecoding View of Samplers & Expanders 
Sec. 5.35.4 
Problem Set 4 (due 4/1) 
[pdf] 

Randomness Extractors 

Mar 9 
Definition & Existence 
Sec. 6.1 
Mar 14 & 16 
No Class (Spring Break) 

Mar 21 
Connections to Other Pseudorandom Objects, Block Sources 
Sec. 6.26.3.2 
Mar 23 
Condensers, Constructing Extractors 
Sec. 6.3.36.5 
Mar 28 & 30 
No Class (Theory of Cryptography Conference) 
Sec. 6.26.3.2 
Problem Set 5 (due 4/22) 
[pdf] 

Pseudorandom Generators 

Apr 4 
Motivation & Definition, Cryptographic PRGs 
Sec. 7.17.2 
Apr 6 
Hybrid Arguments, AverageCase Hardness 
Sec. 7.37.4.1 
Apr 11 
The NisanWigderson Generator 
Sec. 7.4.27.4.3 
Apr 13 
Worstcase/Averagecase Connections & Locally Decodable Codes 
Sec. 7.5 
Apr 18 
Local List Decoding & PRGs from WorstCase Hardness 
Sec. 7.6 
Apr 20 
Connections to other Pseudorandom Objects 
Sec. 7.7 
Problem Set 6 (due 5/6) 
[pdf] 

Conclusions and Beyond 
Ch. 8 

Apr 25 
The Unified Theory of Pseudorandomness & Additional Topics 

Algebraic Pseudorandomness 


Apr 27 
Smallbias Spaces, Cayley Expanders, and Linear Codes 

May 2 
PRGs for Polynomials and Gowers Uniformity 

May 4 
Nonabelian Cayley Expanders and Representation Theory 