6.895 Essential Coding Theory

Fall 2004

A hard drive.
Inside of a hard drive. (Image courtesy of Brandon Blinkenberg and stock.xchng.)

Course Highlights

This course features complementary lecture notes and scribe notes in the lecture notes section. In addition, a complete set of downloadable problem sets is available in the assignments section.

Course Description

This course introduces the theory of error-correcting codes to computer scientists. This theory, dating back to the works of Shannon and Hamming from the late 40's, overflows with theorems, techniques, and notions of interest to theoretical computer scientists. The course will focus on results of asymptotic and algorithmic significance. Principal topics include:
  1. Construction and existence results for error-correcting codes.
  2. Limitations on the combinatorial performance of error-correcting codes.
  3. Decoding algorithms.
  4. Applications in computer science.
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Prof. Madhu Sudan

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session