Stanford University now has a Youtube channel, with free access to HD video of full courses on everything from dynamical systems to quantum entanglement. More conferences and workshops are videotaping their talks. What are videos online that you think everyone should know about?

I'll seed this with a few answers to presentations that are mostly expository, but what I'm hoping might happen is that this community wiki could turn into a resource to share excellent presentations of new research, as well as a place to learn (or reinforce) background in an unfamiliar area.

  • Microsoft Research also has a youtube channel. I also like Dominic Verity's talk on category theory for programmers. Asking everyone to watch the same material seems like a bad idea because it will reduce diversity and increase groupthink. – isomorphismes Sep 11 '13 at 21:46
  • Do we have any videos lectures related to basic approximation and randomized algorithms. – Kumar Dec 1 '14 at 6:56

36 Answers 36

Timothy Gowers has a set of videos on Computational Complexity and Quantum Computation online.

  • 14
    I watched the first lecture in this series and find his explanation of Turing machines very awkward. Furthermore, he seems to suggest that circuits are somehow equal in power to TMs, which is not the case (unless there is more to them than he tells). He himself says he does not want to talk about "strange computation models" but rather about "familiar combinatorics" so I'd say these are rather maths, not TCS lectures. – Raphael Oct 20 '10 at 9:27
  • 6
    combinatorics is also part of TCS. – Kaveh Apr 23 '12 at 3:16
  • 2
    Is TCS not part of mathematics, broadly defined for sure? – kodlu Apr 21 '15 at 0:12

Richard Feynman's Messenger Lectures restored, with annotations, by Microsoft's Tuva Project. Full disclosure: I've only watched two so far; they were awesome. (Not really TCS, but I had to start with these.)

  • 2
    The Vega Science Trust ( also has some excellent Feynman talks on video, as well as talks from a bunch of other scientists. – Joe Fitzsimons Oct 19 '10 at 15:39
  • 3
    I get told that my browser won't support the format (Silverlight). Sigh. – Jim Hefferon Jun 21 '12 at 21:20
  • @JimHefferon Does… work for you? – Lembik Jun 8 '14 at 8:26
  • While I admire what looks like a heroic effort to get it to go, no, I have never tried it. Thanks. – Jim Hefferon Jun 8 '14 at 14:15

Don Knuth's musings are great, always describing some amazing thing unknown to me before.

  • 1
    Can this videos be downloaded or do they have to be streamed using sliver light? – Tyson Williams Sep 10 '11 at 18:08
  • 23
    I feel like Knuth himself would disapprove of having them locked up in a proprietary format, and it sure is inconvenient for me. – Max Oct 22 '11 at 20:12
  • 4
    @Max not anymore :-) (I updated the link). – Diego de Estrada Apr 20 '15 at 22:35

Stephen Boyd has his entire Stanford class on Convex Optimization online.

Some interesting comments and asides, covers same material as in his book.

Dan Spielman's Nevanlinna Prize lecture at Hyderabad 2010. I got this link from a blog post by Timothy Gowers; the post contains several more video and text links to the 2010 ICM.

There's a really interesting talk, given by Yuri Gurevich, on the Church-Turing thesis here.

The video section of IAS is also a great source of online courses. One of my favorite is:
Ketan Mulmuley. On P vs NP, Geometric Complexity Theory, and the Riemann Hypothesis.

FOCS (IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science)

I do not know if this is a video lecture that everyone should watch, but I have decided on watching these to learn some Algebraic Topology. Seems pretty good to me so far.

Algebraic Topology Lectures

EDIT (Added Later). Another nice set of video lectures

Here is another wonderful set of lectures by Erik Demaine. The course is called Planar Graph Algorithms and Beyond and is being taught by Erik Demaine, Shay Mozes, Christian Sommer and Siamak Tazari. They are also using some sections of Phil Kliens draft on Planar Graphs. I feel certain that it will make a great book after having seen the first two lectures.

  • The course of Demaine et al. is amazing! – Diego de Estrada Dec 2 '11 at 1:00

For people interested in quantum computation, the talks of QIP 2010 are available here:

This might seem pretty preliminary to most people here, but I have greatly benefited from these since I am essentially self-taught.

I suggest the Channel 9 lectures:

I like specially the lectures from Erik Meijer on functional programming.

Quantiki has a nice video abstract site, where people are free to post a short video (3-6 minutes) describing their recent papers/preprints. As it is part of Quantiki, it largely focuses on quantum information/computation.

A completely hilarious video (and also very educational) is Serre's now-famous video on how to write mathematics badly.

  • 5
    «We are sorry but sevenload doesn't offer its service in your country». Sad… – Artem Pelenitsyn Jun 1 '11 at 17:36
  • 3
    @Artem: Maybe this link works for those outside the US? It works for me. – Robin Kothari Jul 28 '11 at 20:00
  • @Robin Many thanks! It works. – Artem Pelenitsyn Jul 29 '11 at 8:47

I enjoyed Scott Aaronson's lecture at Caltech titled "Quantum Computing and the Limits of the Efficiently Computable." This lecture, which was in honor of Feynman, rehashes what's common knowledge to users of this site but in a very clear and funny way.

STOC (ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing)

  • 2
    They're behind a paywall unfortunately... – Anthony Leverrier Aug 12 '11 at 21:04
  • 1
    This is probably an old news, but the videos are now available for free (but you have to register (again, for free)) – Danu Oct 23 '11 at 21:39

Erik Winfree describes DNA self-assembly and molecular programming at a plenary talk at ASPLOS 2008. Probably the best rigorous introduction to the theory of self-assembly currently online.

Quantum Information, Computation and Complexity

  • awesome! how was i waiting for watching video lectures on this think about watching lectures of Charles Bennet! A rare treat! Thanks again – Akash Kumar Mar 2 '11 at 1:44

Erik Demaine has the video lectures up from his Fall 2010 course on geometric folding algorithms that follows the textbook he coauthored with Joseph O'Rourke:

The lectures are great as you'd expect. But what really stands out to me is the production values: Each lecture's web page has embedded slides and lecture notes that play along in synchrony with the video. It uses high-definition HTML5 video with all the synchronization of slides and lecture notes done in JavaScript. Hopefully this will set a new standard of excellence.

CCC (IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity)

MIT's Youtube channel might be useful as well.

  • The link is already mentioned in the question itself! – M.S. Dousti Apr 11 '11 at 16:52
  • technically, only Stanford's youtube channel is mentioned – Suresh Venkat Apr 11 '11 at 16:56

Just found the following two websites. They were recommended by some folks, but I have not evaluated them yet:

I'm late to answer,but find Cristian Calude's lecture on Incompleteness excellent.

General audience talk by Michael Sipser about $\mathsf{P}$ vs. $\mathsf{NP}$:

Michael Sipser, "Beyond Computation: The P vs NP Problem", CMI Public Lecture, 2006.

Also available on youtube.

These are a lectures series about Quantum Computation by professor David Deutsch

Another great series on Quantum Computation by Michael Nielsen aimed at the average Joe who wants to learn about Quantum Computation

If you are interested in concurrency theory, programming languages or interactive theorem proving, I warmly recommend the videos of the recent Milner Symposium. For example J. Parrow's talk The pi-calculus: Origin and recent developments tells the beautiful story of the early development of $\pi$-calculus, and B. Pierce's talk Types à la Milner is a lucid overview of work on types for process calculi.

Following resources are very helpful: (Discrete Math, Algorithms, theory of computation and many others) and (I particularly like the algorithms on planar graphs lecture and advanced data structure lec here)

TCS+ (an online biweekly seminar series, using Google Hangouts as medium), has a YouTube Channel, as well as a listing of previous lectures:

(This listing also includes the slides of the talks).

The topics are quite diverse, and meant to cover all areas of TCS.

General CS videos, found some good ones on here:

Not restricted to Computing but good nonetheless:

  • That's a great link for videos, however a better link would be to say which of these videos are worth the watch (or maybe they are all?) – Gopi Oct 26 '11 at 10:56
  • I liked the Donald Knuth's lectures linked to on the lecturefox site (he created TeX amongst his other achievements) and on the mitworld site I liked I liked the "Computing for Everyone" lecture though I suspect they are all pretty good. – Aaron Robson Nov 7 '11 at 12:42

protected by Kaveh May 10 '13 at 6:53

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.