The course webpage for 2021 is here

Topics at the Intersection between Theoretical Computer Science and other Disciplines, Spring Semester 2020

Description of this Student Seminar (252-4303-00L)

Students present papers in Theoretical Computer Science which have also some "interdisciplinary flavor". Methods in classical theory of computing are used to better understand some fundamental questions in other fields (biology, social science, economics, etc.). The talks give a first outlook of these type of results which typically provide rigorous analysis of algorithms ("prove theorems").

Objectives: learn how to understand and present the key ideas and mathematical concepts in theory papers; Develop a critical attitude to evaluate the importance of a theoretical result and its practical relevance.

See also the course page in the ETH course catalog



Tame and Place: Thursdays, 10-12 in CAB G 57 (all meetings above)

New: Due to some recent restrictions, we will do all scheduled seminars online on the zoom platform (see below for details).

Paper assignment: Papers will be assigned in a fair way using the random serial dictatorship algorithm: At the kickoff meeting we will pick a random order of students and, following this order, each student can choose his/her favorite paper among those that are still available. In order to make a good choice, it is fundamental that you look carefully into the available papers (listed below) before the kickoff meeting. It is well possible that your top choices will be taken when your turn to choose arrives, so it is in your best interest to have in mind several alternatives. In general, the length of the paper is not the main criteria to follow: in your presentation you do not have to talk about everything, but extract the most interesting/relevant parts. It is more important that you find the material interesting for you and you feel comfortable with the methodology/content (try to go beyond the introduction, and maybe look at some technical parts).


Demo talks (12 Mar): The instructor will show a "bad" talk followed by a (hopefully) better talk on the same topic.

Online talks on zoom and communications using piazza: