Useful(?) Info for New Students

There are (at least) two unfortunate realities of life that sometimes prevent new students from finding resources related to this group:

  • The Wiki, which includes useful information, is not indexed by Google
  • There are pages that once contained useful information but are now out of date that are indexed by Google and highly ranked. One hopes that this page does not become one of the pages under part (b). Yeesh.


First, read the following pages from the Wiki:

Once you’ve read those, you probably know about the theory seminar and the theory reading group, and if you haven’t signed up for the mailing lists, do it now! Here are the links again: theory, theory-seminar, theory-reading-group. Up-to-date links to the current seminar and reading group schedules can always be found at the landing page for this site.

As noted in the Recommended Program of Study, courses of interest to students in theoretical computer science can be found in several departments at this university, including Math, ECE, and ISE. We keep an incomplete list of these courses at the Current Courses page of this site. Please suggest a course if you think it’s missing*!

*Ask the current graduate students who is currently maintaining the list. Someone will know.


Now, you’re probably wondering about the qualifying exam. Google turns out an outdated page on Jeff’s website. While it is not completely out of date, you’re better off looking at the updated Qualifying Exam information page on the Wiki.

Sariel maintains an archive of past qualifying exams. While it is in your best interest to do as many of the problems as you can, note that the format of the exam changed in 2012. Prior to Spring 2012, the format was 5 problems with a time allocation of 3 hours for each exam. Since Spring 2012, the format has been 4-5 problems with a time allocation of more-or-less the whole day for each exam.

Student-run site for the Theory & Algorithms Group in the CS Department at UIUC