Anıl Ada
Associate Teaching Professor
Computer Science Department
Carnegie Mellon University


Gates-Hillman Center (GHC) 6215
aada@ followed by one of (,,
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Office Hours:
Mondays 4:30-5:30pm, Thursdays 5:15-6:15pm
Admin Support:
Amanda Lynn Hornick
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Carnegie Mellon University

  15-251:   Great Ideas in Theoretical Computer Science   (S15, F15, F16, S17, F17, S18, F18, F19)
  15-112:   Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science   (F14, S16, M16)
  SAMS:    Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science   (N17)

McGill University

  COMP 202:   Foundations of Programming   (Spring14, Summer14)
  COMP 531:   Advanced Theory of Computation   (Spring14)





  • Why I Do What I Do
    Short reflections on teaching.
    Herbert A. Simon Award for Teaching Excellence 2017.


Diderot is an online platform that allows instructors to upload and share their course content. It currently supports discussions and autograding code. Our goal is to produce an online environment that both the students and the instructors love to use, and that makes content creation and sharing as easy as possible.

The Diderot project was started together with Umut Acar and has won the Teaching Innovation Award at CMU. The following courses have used / are using Diderot: 15122, 15210, 15251, 15388/688, 15455, 15780, 15819, 15859, 10715, 21228.

More information coming soon.

Barbados workshop

From 2009 to 2018, I helped organize the annual Barbados workshop on computational complexity.
Click here for details.


I advised the following students in research projects.



  • Yeongwoo Hwang
    Decision Tree and Fourier Complexity of Boolean Functions
    Senior Thesis (advised together with Ryan O'Donnell)

  • Calvin Beideman, Anatol Liu, Thomas Tseng
    Upper bounds in multiparty 'Number on the Forehead' model of communication complexity

  • Aditya Krishnan, Nicholas Sieger
    On the special cases of long-rank conjecture in communication complexity

  • Kumail Jaffer, Sidhanth Mohanty
    Multiparty 'Number on the Forehead' model of communication complexity and its relations to Ramsey Theory

  • Alyazeed Basyoni, Jacob Imola, William Xiao
    Upper bounds in multiparty 'Number on the Forehead' model of communication complexity.
    Boolean circuits with mod 6 gates.

About me

I was born and raised up in Istanbul. I moved to Montréal after high school and received B.Sc. (Hon.) in Mathematics and Computer Science, M.Sc. in Computer Science, and Ph.D. in Computer Science, all from McGill University. I was advised by Denis Thérien and Hamed Hatami. I'm currently an associate teaching professor in the Computer Science Department of Carnegie Mellon University.

I am passionate about education and theoretical computer science.

During graduate school, I did research on theoretical computer science, trying to understand the inherent limitations of computers and computation. More specifically, my research interests are in communication complexity, circuit complexity, analysis of boolean functions and matrices, pseudorandomness - structure vs randomness in computer science and mathematics, and additive combinatorics.

Most of my time right now goes to thinking about education. I love teaching theoretical computer science and trying to find the best explanations for conceptually difficult topics. I am also very much interested in rethinking higher education, which means rethinking the role of lectures, rethinking the assessment schemes so that they are more fair and promote better learning outcomes, rethinking how we can establish mastery-based learning, rethinking the roles of teaching assistants, etc. I believe there is a lot of room for improvement in all of these areas, and I think about these issues every day.