CS 599 and me drinking Kool-aid

15Feb12

I’m teaching a graduate course this term at USC with Aram Galstyan called “Physics and Computation”. Basically, it shows how we can use statistical physics to understand problems in computer science. Hopefully I’ll post some details about the class later.  For now, here’s the main text we’re using: Information, computation, and physics.

In a classic two-birds-one-stone maneuver, we’re thinking about some projects that the students could do that relate to the big question: what can we do with a D-Wave chip? Both 2-SAT instances and spin glass (or LDPC) codes are exactly representable as Ising models that can be solved on the chip. Conveniently, these are both problems we’ve been studying in detail in the course: their phase transitions, average complexity, best classical algorithms, etc.  Here’s a toast to a hopefully synergistic term.

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