Princeton University
Computer Science Dept.

Computer Science 598f
Advanced Topics in CS: Randomized Algorithms

Michael Goldwasser

Spring 1999

General Information | Handouts | Schedule | Mailing List

Meetings: Mondays 4:30-6:30. Room 301 CS Building.
Instructor: Michael Goldwasser,, 258-1749
My office is 204 CS Building.

Randomized Algorithms

This course will be a seminar designed to focus on the use of randomization in the design of algorithms as well as the formal analysis of such randomized algorithms. Presentations will aim at demonstrating some of the common underlying techniques as well as looking at examples of the many different applications areas where randomization has proved to be an important tool. Techniques include random sampling, randomized incremental constructions, and randomized rounding to name a few. Problems will be drawn from domains including computational geometry, graph algorithms, parallel algorithms, approximation algorithms and online computation.


The ideal prerequisites for this course will include the algorithmic experience and sophistication equivalent to cos423 (Theory of Algorithms), along with some experience with basic probability theory included in a course such as cos341 (Discrete Mathematics) or math390.

Seminar Format

The format of the class will be in the style of a classic graduate seminar. The majority of lectures will be student presentations based on a combination of papers selected from the literature. Occasional lectures may be given by the instructor or guests.


This course will be offered on the Pass/D/Fail Only grading system. Each student will be asked to give one lecture during the course on a topic chosen from a list suggested by the instructor. In addition, by the end of the course each student will be asked to turn in a written paper which serves as a summary or tutorial of the topic which was presented in class. (Depending on enrollment, there may be some opportunity for students to work in pairs in preparing the lecture and written assignment.)

cos598f Class Page
Michael Goldwasser
Last modified: February 15, 1999