A soft question is a question (possibly subjective) about the field of theoretical computer science as opposed to being a question in theoretical computer science.

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1answer
73 views

Faithful functors vs forgetful functors: exact category-theoretic defs?

In category theory, a functor between two categories $C,D$ is a map $F$ that assigns to each object (resp. morphism) $x$ of $C$ a corresponding object (resp. morphism) $F(x)$ of $D$ by respecting the ...
10
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1answer
221 views

How to write the introduction of a research paper?

Apologies if this is too broad a question for this forum, but I'm interested in specific tactics and tips that researchers (in TCS) use to write the introduction of a research paper.
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0answers
57 views

Exams about post-graduate in computer science [closed]

This is just a curious question.. Someone knows where can I download exams of years ago about post-graduate on computer science? Maybe exams from Oxford, MIT, Stanford, University of Tokyo.. whatever. ...
3
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2answers
109 views

TCS oriented refs/survey on group theoretic word problem

The word problem for groups was shown to be Turing-complete in 1955 but has many decidable subcases. This problem arose more in mathematical group theory than in theoretical computer science, but now ...
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6answers
2k views

What do you do when you cannot make progress on the problem you have been working on?

I am a 2nd year graduate student in theory. I have been working on a problem for the last year (in graph theory/algorithms). Until yesterday I thought I am doing well (I was extending a theorem from a ...
0
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1answer
169 views

Mathematics degree for Theoretical Computer Science? [closed]

I want to go to grad school in theoretical computer science. I don't like programming. I am in France. Should I pursue a bachelors in math or in computer science?
54
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6answers
18k views

What is the contribution of lambda calculus to the field of theory of computation?

I'm just reading up on lambda calculus to "get to know it". I see it as an alternate form of computation as opposed to the Turing Machine. It's an interesting way of doing things with ...
7
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1answer
404 views

Connections between the Erdos Discrepancy Problem and (Theoretical) CS?

Recently there have been some new results on computer-based experimental study of the Erdos Discrepancy Problem (EDP) (via SAT solvers, cited below). This problem has been cited and studied by several ...
2
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1answer
144 views

How to become a Theoretical Computer Scientist [closed]

I am a computer science graduate from India. I have worked in a reputed software company for 10 months only to discover that my area of interest is something else. So I resigned from there and I am ...
5
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1answer
142 views

Interesting programs on small machines

I am teaching a course and have a tiny implementation of a counter-style machine that has the following instructions and two registers, r0 & r1 ...
11
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4answers
4k views

Interesting results in TCS which are easily explainable to programmers without technical background

Suppose you're meeting with programmers who have taken some professional programming courses (/ self thought) but didn't study a university level math. In order to show them the beauty of TCS, I'd ...
2
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3answers
482 views

Does anyone know of online video courses (in english) on randomness in theoretical computer science?

I have found some video courses like this one but they are all in russian or other languages I don't understand. I'll like to know if anyone has come across lectures (courses) of this kind which are ...
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0answers
356 views

How to find interesting algorithms to implement?

I am not a researcher in algorithms (I am a college freshman). I would like to implement an interesting recent algorithm from a data structure/algorithms paper. How can find a good algorithms paper ...
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2answers
192 views

Foundational textbook(s) for Complexity and Computability on Real Numbers

It would be extremely helpful if someone can suggest foundational textbooks on Recursive Analysis (Computability over Reals) which explains connections between Computability and the Topological ...
2
votes
0answers
220 views

Technical article vs. research paper

Being a professional software engineer, i have seen a lot of really interesting technical work, many of it is published as technical articles in technical journals and websites like ...
2
votes
3answers
453 views

Why do theoreticians in CS use multiple-letter variables?

This is a "dual" question of a popular post on math.se. Some mathematical objects in computational complexity theory have multiple-letter names. Complexity classes such as $\mathbf{BPP}$ have an ...
5
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0answers
217 views

Being a theoretician at a business university?

I'm currently on the job market and I've seen some open faculty positions in computer science at a business university (which is quite reputable among its kind). While the job opening doesn't ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

What are the open ended questions for an CS Undergraduate to think about? [closed]

What can be a possible open ended research topics in Computational Complexity (or something equally fun), for an undergraduate to think about? [I am planning to take up something fun, however my ...
8
votes
4answers
860 views

Author ordering in TCS papers

While the rule of thumb is that in TCS papers the authors are ordered alphabetically, there are some notable counterexamples that comes to mind, wherein the authors are ordered in a different way, ...
6
votes
3answers
570 views

What is the importance of a TCS researcher in a mostly applied CS department?

Stating the title in another way, how to convince a strong applied CS department that a theorist would be a better choice than one more applied computer scientist? I understand that it is natural for ...
15
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4answers
861 views

When does (or should) Theoretical CS care about intuitionistic proofs?

From what I understand (which is very little, so please correct me where I err!), theory of programming languages is often concerned with "intuitionistic" proofs. In my own interpretation, the ...
5
votes
0answers
380 views

What should I do to switch from math department to cs to research tcs topics?

This can be a very weird question, but I haven't seen the same situation with mine in this forum, so I'd like to put this. Let me introudce my situation first. I'm now a math student of master ...
10
votes
2answers
609 views

Resources for mathematicians hoping to learn more computer science

Background: I'm coming to the end of my masters degree in Mathematics and will be starting a PhD in Logic in August. The more logic I study, the more theoretical computer science I am exposed to, ...
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2answers
377 views

How do top researchers keep track new results in datastructures

Is there any twitter or some feed,which constantly sends new results which are being published to your mail.
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0answers
107 views

conceptual tools for illustrating types of computation?

From time to time I come across concepts in programming that take a certain number of exposures to grasp. Things like: tail calls, futures, monads, coroutines, closures, call/cc. The common theme is ...
6
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0answers
322 views

Does a depth knowledge on theory of computation helps to be a better practitioner

I would like to know whether knowledge of the theory of computation can help you to be a better practitioner. Is it enough to obtain some depth of knowledge of algorithms and data structures, or would ...
11
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1answer
573 views

How can I use my computational theory and analysis powers for the greater good?

Outside of academia, what are the uses of my 'powers'? What can I do other than teaching and publishing papers? Where all can I apply my powers? For the sake of argument: Please assume I have a PhD ...
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1answer
115 views

Do irrational number contain infinate/every patterns of sequences? [closed]

I guess the question is "does an 'infinite' number of patterns imply 'every' number of patterns?" For instance, if you could quickly calculate the decimal sequence of π, could you not (in ...
10
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1answer
374 views

Understanding the talks in Conferences and Workshops

I am a graduate student from India. I am very much interested in attending the Workshops, conferences, and invited lecturers given by prominent professors. At the end of the talk as usual some people ...
4
votes
2answers
538 views

P vs NP: Instructive example of when Brute Force search can be avoided

To be able to explain the P vs NP problem to non-mathematicians I would like to have a pedagogical example of when Brute Force-search can be avoided. The problem should ideally be immediately ...
25
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6answers
2k views

Can one return to a TCS research job after an excursion to a non-research industry job?

I have heard from some senior researchers in theoretical computer science that working in a non-research industry job, even just for a few years, will kill your career as a TCS researcher. However I ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Abstract algebra for Theoretical Computer Scientists

I have a reasonable undergrad math education but have never been 100% comfortable with abstract algebra (the mathematics of groups, rings, fields etc. ). I think this was partly as I needed to see ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Is it sometimes better to not publish at all?

I hope this is not a politically incorrect question to ask, but for a PhD student who usually publishes at CCC/ITCS/ICALP (and occasionally at FOCS/STOC), could it be harmful (career-wise) to publish ...
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2answers
136 views

Classic parallel clustering algorithms

I'm starting a research about parallel clustering. I see a ton of articles on this topic, so that I don't know where to start. I'd like to get familiar with classic methods of parallelizing ...
7
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1answer
260 views

How do database aggregations form a monoid?

On cs.stackexchange I asked about the algebird scala library on github, speculating on why they might need an abstract algebra package. The github page has some clues: Implementations of Monoids ...
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votes
1answer
218 views

Good exploit to explore for an undergraduate research paper [closed]

I am looking to write a research paper for an undergraduate class in security. I'd like to explore the details of a security attack that's happened within the last ~15 years (within the last 5 years ...
24
votes
7answers
5k views

Should we consider $\mathsf{P} \neq \mathsf{NP}$ a law of nature?

Many experts believe that the $\mathsf{P} \neq \mathsf{NP}$ conjecture is true and use it in their results. My concern is that the complexity strongly depends on the $\mathsf{P} \neq \mathsf{NP}$ ...
17
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6answers
1k views

How should I think about proof nets?

In his answer to this question, Stephane Gimenez pointed me to a polynomial-time normalization algorithm for proofs in linear logic. The proof in Girard's paper uses proof nets, which are an aspect of ...
8
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1answer
262 views

Recent Probabilistic Methods in Combinatorics and its appplications to Complexity Theory

I read the famous book by Alon and Spencer on the probabilistic method in combinatorics. Is there a survey or lecture notes on recent advances and relationships with the following complexity ...
7
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3answers
423 views

Proofs found by computer

In 1996, a long-standing open problem was solved by a computer; namely, that Robbins algebra and Boolean algebra are the same. The proof was found by an automated theorem prover. Moreover, the known ...
12
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7answers
612 views

Pointers for CS applications of logic

I'm a grad student in math with a solid background in logic. I've taken a year-long graduate course in logic together with graduate courses on finite model theory and another on forcing and set ...
23
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13answers
3k views

Complex analysis in theoretical computer science

There are many applications of real analysis in theoretical computer science, covering property testing, communication complexity, PAC learning, and many other fields of research. However, I can't ...
1
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1answer
332 views

List of TCS conferences along with important dates

I saw that there is a post with a List of TCS conferences. However, this does not list important dates like conference date, submission deadline etc. Is there any post or website which maintains these ...
2
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1answer
202 views

Recent fundamental results in algorithms? [closed]

I dont know if this question belong to this forum, but I will ask it anyway To your opinions, what are the most recent fundamental results in the field of algorithms ? [Results that can be taught in ...
14
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2answers
531 views

The motivation for using Karp-reductions in the theory of $\mathcal{NP}$-completeness

The notion of polynomial time reductions (Cook reductions) is an abstraction of a very intuitive concept: efficiently solving a problem by using an algorithm for a different problem. However, in the ...
1
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1answer
421 views

What are some good references for mathematical optimization for the layman?

I've been getting myself involved with this topic and would like to read more to gain a conceptual understanding of the various techniques and what each one is trying to achieve and their 'idea' ...
12
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0answers
454 views

Looking for a quotation by Edsger Dijkstra

In one of his papers Edgser Dijkstra makes a statement like: "What we consider to be the standard case is one case among many exceptional cases only it occurs more often " or something along such ...
1
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3answers
2k views

To what extent is “advanced mathematics” needed/useful in A.I. research?

I am currently studying mathematics. However, I don't think I want to become a professional mathematician in the future. I am thinking of applying my knowledge of mathematics to do research in ...
39
votes
6answers
2k views

Good examples for how to write well in TCS

I was editing a student manuscript. The student remarked that it would be nice to see examples of quality writing in published work, and I realized that I couldn't really come up with good examples ...
12
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0answers
223 views

First use of sans serif for complexity classes

(Apologies for the triviality of this question; nevertheless, it's been bugging me and presumably people here will be able to answer it...) It seems that it has become popular in recent years to ...