Prof. Bernhard Haeupler

Time and location:
Thursday, 12:00PM - 2:50PM, GHC 4102
first class: September 8th

Office hours:
Anytime; please send an email first.


This graduate-level seminar class which will discuss a selection of recent breakthroughs and great results in theoretical computer science. Papers will cover the full spectrum of CS Theory as represented in FOCS/STOC/SODA. Each week, one student will present a paper, typically published in one these top conferences within the last two years. In addition to talks presenting full proofs of main results (where appropriate) we will discuss open questions and directions - with the hope that this will stimulate further research.


This is a graduate level course discussing the latest research in theoretical computer science. Mathematical maturity, at the level of an incoming CS theory PhD student, is a must. If you are worried about this prerequisite please contact me and we can determine together whether this class is at the right level for you. Undergraduates will only be considered if they have a CMU CS theory faculty who can attest to their qualification.

Learning Objectives:

After successfully completing this course, you will have:

  • learned, in depths, about some of the greatest recent results in CS theory,
  • gotten the chance to identify and examine possible research questions and directions as well as to formulate approaches for solving them, and
  • possibly been inspired to work with some of your classmates on pushing beyond the presented results and write your own hit

The class will further be a great opportunity to improve your presentation skills through valueable constructive feedback from your peers, as well as, through giving constructive feedback on your peer's presentation, noting both strengths and ways to improve.


Every student will give one (or possibly two) talks. Slides should be sent to the instructor at least one week prior to the talk. Active participation in every class through asking questions, giving feedback, and taking part in the in-class research discussions is expected. Students are encouraged to continue working (collaboratively) on research questions brought up in class.


Grading will be based on the quality of the talk and class participation (see coursework).


Improtant General Advise

Take care of yourself. Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well, exercising, avoiding drugs and alcohol, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax. This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress.

All of us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not alone. There are many helpful resources available on campus and an important part of the college experience is learning how to ask for help. Asking for support sooner rather than later is often helpful.

If you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings like anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) is here to help: call 412-268-2922 and visit their website at Consider reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in danger of self-harm, call someone immediately, day or night:
CaPS: 412-268-2922
Re:solve Crisis Network: 888-796-8226

If the situation is life threatening, call the police:
On campus: CMU Police: 412-268-2323
Off campus: 911