Note: This webpage is still under consideration. More details will be added soon!

CSE 725: Expanders, Property Testing and the PCP Theorem - II

Here's the webpage for Part I of the seminar series.


Hung Ngo
Hung Ngo's Email Address
(716) 645-3180 x 160
238 Bell Hall


Atri Rudra
Atri's Email Address
(716) 645-3180 x 117
123 Bell Hall

Class Meetings

Monday, Wednesday. 3:30pm-5:00pm
224 Bell Hall

Course Announcement

Course Blog

We will be using a blog for the course in lieu of a course newsgroup. All announcements will be made on the blog. If you are attending the course, you must check the blog regularly (and consider subscribing to the RSS feed).

Reference material

Not surprisingly, we will not follow any particular textbook. We will mostly follow papers. Here are some resources relevant to the seminar.

Class Schedule

Here is a tentative schedule for the seminar: there will be roughly 27 lectures (in 15 weeks, but we have a week off for Spring break and one Monday off for Martin Luther King's day), of which 17 are presented by Atri and Hung, and 10 are student presentations. Each student will present 2 lectures: 1 on a PCP Theorem related topic (such as constructing specialized PCPs), and 1 on hardness of approximation.

Dates Topic Lecturer
Week 1, Mon Jan 12 Recap on expanders and overview of PCP theorem's proof Hung
Week 1, Wed Jan 14 Recap on property testing Atri
Week 2, Mon Jan 19 No lecture -- Martin Luther King day.
Week 2, Wed Jan 21 Proof of PCP Theorem Atri/Hung
Week 3, Mon Jan 26
Week 3, Wed Jan 28
Week 4, Mon Feb 02
Week 4, Wed Feb 04
Week 5, Mon Feb 09
Week 5, Wed Feb 11
Week 6, Mon Feb 16
Week 6, Wed Feb 18 Student
Week 7, Mon Feb 23 Student
Week 7, Wed Feb 25 Student
Week 8, Mon Mar 02 Student
Week 8, Wed Mar 04 Student
Week 9, Mon Mar 09 No lectures this week. Spring recess!
Week 9, Wed Mar 11
Week 10, Mon Mar 16 The hardness of approximation connection Hung/Atri
Week 10, Wed Mar 18
Week 11, Mon Mar 23
Week 11, Wed Mar 25
Week 12, Mon Mar 30
Week 12, Wed Apr 01
Week 13, Mon Apr 08
Week 13, Wed Apr 10 Chuzhoy et al, On the approximability of some network design problems, SODA 2007 Yang
Week 14, Mon Apr 15 Irit Dinur, Shmuel Safra: The importance of being biased. STOC 2002: 33-42 Nathan
Week 14, Wed Apr 17 On the hardness of approximating multicut and sparsest cut, CCC 2005 Swapnooneel
Week 15, Mon Apr 22 Cheng and Wan, A Deterministic Reduction for the Gap Minimum Distance Problem, STOC 2009 Steve
Week 15, Wed Apr 24 Matthew Andrews, Lisa Zhang, Logarithmic hardness of the undirected edge-disjoint paths problem, JACM 2006 Thanh


The workload will be pretty light. Other than attending the lectures, students will have to do the following:


A grade of satisfactory/unsatisfactory will be assigned at the end of the course. If you want a letter grade, talk to the instructors about more details.

Academic Honesty

We have zero tolerance for cheating and will follow the CSE Department Policies on Academic Integrity.