Prof. Dr. Tobias Friedrich

Current Trends in Algorithm Theory

MSc Seminar - Winter 2015/16


Theoretical Computer Science and especially Algorithm Theory is a fast moving research field. There are numerous conferences per year which each push the boundary of the current knowledge a bit farther.

In this seminar, we take a look at the most recent advances in algorithm theory, which typically are important papers from conferences like SODA, FOCS, STOC, ICALP or similar. The goal of this seminar is for the student to be able to read a scientific paper, understand its contents intuitively, and then present the content to their peers.


There are no formal requirements.

Participants should bring with them good mathematical skills, since most papers will be fairly technical and contain mathematical proofs.


The paper list is available in the Algorithm Engineering Moodle. Your login credentials are the same as your HPI login, and the course password is "algorithms".

The papers will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you want to reserve a paper, send an e-mail to anton.krohmer(at)hpi.de. You will receive a reply whether you got the paper, and information on your advisor.

We strongly recommend to consult at least one book on how to make good presentations, since this is a skill computer science students are often lacking. We recommend e.g.

  • Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen


Most of the work will be done by the student in a self-organized fashion. Each student will, however, receive an advisor from the Algorithm Engineering group which he can consult for questions about the paper, the presentation, and the summary.


Each student is required to give a presentation on his topic about 2-3 months into the semester. The presentation should be between 30-40 minutes long.

Additionally, every student must write up a summary of the paper of 3-5 pages, in which he also points out possible extensions to the paper at hand. These do not need to be concrete or fleshed out, but should show that the student gained a reasonable grasp on the paper topic; especially concerning its (possible) shortcomings.

A first draft of the summary is due one week before the student's talk, the final version is due February 29, 2016.

Both the presentation and the summary are required to be in English.


The first Meeting is on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 9:15 in Room A-1.2