Colloq: Theory of Computation

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

I went to the Sipser colloqium today and he discussed P versus NP. I've taken two Algorithms classes and a Theory of Computation class, too, but I still found it really interesting especially given that Sipser wrote the Theory of Computation book we used.

So he does this whole presentation thing and it's really interesting and such and then he takes some questions. The last question was from a woman who had just taken a Theory of Computation course (using his book) and wanted to know why it should be required. I always find questions like that curious. In this case, I'm glad I know about the things I learned in that course. While they're more mathematical in nature than what I'm typically used to, I think they provide an awesome grounding in what kinds of problems are doable and what kinds of problems are computationally difficult. While I'm not planning to continue investigating whether P = NP or P != NP, it's really interesting to know that they exist, what they are, and why they're really interesting.

Anyhow, long story short, it was a really interesting colloqium, I'm glad I'm in grad school, and people who need validation for the things they're learning beyond the knowledge itself puzzle me.

Want to comment? Send an email to willkg at bluesock dot org. Include the url for the blog entry in your comment so I have some context as to what you're talking about.