CSI 4103 / 5138: Great Algorithms

University of Ottawa, Fall 2024

Recent Announcements

Teaching Staff

name email office office hour
Andrej Bogdanov
abogdano@uottawa.ca SITE 5068 Fr 3–5

Course Description

Great algorithms are like great works of art. Some are instant hits. Others are challenging at first but grow on you with time. What they have in common is that they change the way we view the world.

Behind every computing advance of the last century stands a great algorithm: error-correction for reliable communication, spectral decomposition and the Fourier transform for data analysis, public-key encryption for e-commerce, gradient descent and backpropagation for machine learning. The aim of the course is to provide a broad perspective on what makes these algorithms tick and the variety of contexts in which they apply.


week topic
1 Sep 4 Gaussian elimination
2 Sep 11 Gradient descent
Sep 18 No class
3 Sep 25 Spectral decomposition
4 Oct 2 Fourier transform
5 Oct 9 Backpropagation
Oct 16 Reading Week
6 Oct 23 Public-key encryption
7 Oct 30 Secure multiparty computation
8 Nov 6 Error correction
9 Nov 13 Randomized response
10 Nov 20 Markov Chain Monte Carlo
11 Nov 27 Belief propagation
TBA Project presentations


You are encouraged to collaborate on the homeworks as long as you write your own solutions and acknowledge your collaborators. I discourage you from looking up solutions to homework problems online, unless you have exhausted all other resources. If you do so, please provide proper credit and make sure you understand the solution before you write it.

Course Information


Notes will be provided for every lecture. Here are some additional references. These will be updated later.