All of the readings are from the text Pseudorandomness. Colors indicate weeks.
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Date 
Title 
Reading/Reference 
Handouts 
Sep 1 
Introduction (Course overview)

Ch. 1 
Problem Set 1 (due 9/16) Survey (please turn in) Syllabus 
2. The Power of Randomness

Ch. 2 

Sep 6 
Randomized Algorithms and Complexity Classes 
Sec. 2.12.2 

Sep 8 
Sampling and Approximation Problems 
Sec. 2.32.4 

3. Basic Derandomization Techniques 
Ch. 3 

Sep 13 
Enumeration, Nonuniformity, Nondeterminism 
Sec. 3.13.3 

Sep 15 
Conditional Expectations, Pairwise Independence 
Sec. 3.43.5 
Problem Set 2 (due 9/30) 
4. Expander Graphs 
Ch. 4 

Sep 20 
Measures of Expansion, Existence 
Sec. 4.1 

Sep 22 
Random Walks on Expanders, Algebraic Constructions 
Sec. 4.24.3.1 

Sep 27 
Explicit Constructions, USTCONN in L 
Sec. 4.3.24.4 

5. ListDecodable Codes 
Ch. 5 

Sep 29 
Definition & Existence 
Sec. 5.15.1.2 
Problem Set 3 (due 10/14) 
Oct 4 
Explicit Codes, List Decoding ReedSolomon Codes 
Sec. 5.1.35.2.3 

Oct 6 
No Class (Avi Wigderson's 60th Birthday workshop) 


Oct 11 
ParvareshVardy Codes and Folded ReedSolomon Codes 
Sec. 5.2.45.3 

Oct 13 
List Decoding View of Samplers & Extractors, 
Sec. 5.4 
Problem Set 4 (due 10/28) 
6. Randomness Extractors 
Ch. 6 

Oct 18 
Definition & Existence 
Sec. 6.1 

Oct 20 
No Class 


Oct 25 
Connections to Other Pseudorandom Objects, Block Sources 
Sec. 6.26.3.2 

Oct 27 
Condensers, Constructing Extractors 
Sec. 6.3.36.5 
Problem Set 5 (due 11/11) 
7. Pseudorandom Generators 
Ch. 7 

Nov 1 
Motivation & Definition (and some more on extractors) 
Sec. 7.1 

Nov 3 
Spillover on defs of PRGs, Cryptographic PRGs, PRFs 
Sec. 7.2 

Nov 8 
Hybrid Arguments, AverageCase Hardness 
Sec. 7.37.4.1 

Nov 10 
The NisanWigderson Generator 
Sec. 7.4.27.4.3 
Problem Set 6 (due WED 11/30) 
Nov 15 
Worstcase/Averagecase Connections & Locally Decodable Codes 
Sec. 7.5 

Nov 17 
No Class 


FRI Nov 18 
Gil Cohen talk on Explicit Ramsey Graphs (via 2source extractors), 1:304:30pm, MD 119 


Nov 22 
Local List Decoding & PRGs from WorstCase Hardness 
Sec. 7.6 

Nov 24 
Thanksgiving Day (no class) 


Nov 29 
Connections to other Pseudorandom Objects 
Sec. 7.7 
Takehome final (due MON 12/12) 
Dec 1 
The Unified Theory of Pseudorandomness 
Sec. 8.1 

Dec 6 
(Reading Period) Survey of other Topics in Pseudorandomness 
Sec. 8.2 

Dec 8 
(Reading Period) Ramanujan graphs and interlacing polynomials 
Sec 15 of MSS1, and/or Sec 35 of Branden's lecture notes, and some additional notes 