CS 101b. Selected Topics in Computer Science and Economics

Winter 2005

Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-10:25, Jorgensen 74


Professor K. Mani Chandy, mani@cs.caltech.edu, 260 Jorgensen, x6559.

Professor John Ledyard, jledyard@hss.caltech.edu, 102 Baxter, x8482.

Guest Lecturers

Teaching Assistant

Agostino Capponi, acapponi@cs.caltech.edu, 160J Jorgensen, x3553.
Office Hours Tuesday, 19:00-21:00, or by appointment.

Additional Resource

Dr. Daniel M. Zimmerman, dmz@cs.caltech.edu, 62 Jorgensen, x4840.

CS 101b surveys theories in social sciences, computer science and mathematics, with a view toward applying theory to problems at the intersection of social and information sciences. Topics studied vary from year to year and include algorithms, data structures and basic theory for classical statistics and Bayesian decision theory, probability theory and discrete event simulation, optimization, control theory and game theory. The course also surveys fundamental theory in economics, mechanism design, decidability and computational complexity. Applications in this course focus on networks of systems that integrate markets with physical constraints; example applications are the electric power grid, natural gas networks, transportation and health care networks. Students may carry out projects on applications in the following term.

Since the course is an introduction to several topics, it is suitable for students exploring areas of study. This course is not suitable for students who want to study a single topic in depth. Students are encouraged to take other courses at Caltech that study, in depth, each of the topics touched upon in this survey course.



There will be between 6 and 9 homework assignments; each assignment will be out for at least 7 days before it is due, and will be discussed in class the week before it is due. Unless otherwise noted, all homework assignments are weighted equally. Homework assignments, as well as lecture slides, are available from the course schedule page.

Homework assignments should be submitted on time. If a homework is submitted late, it will be handled in one of two ways:

  1. If the delay is due to sickness or emergency, you will not be penalized. It is strongly recommended that, whenever possible, you ask in advance for an extension in such circumstances.
  2. If the delay is for any other reason, the number of days your submission is late will be counted against you.

Late Policy

Late penalties start on the day after the assignment was due. For instance, if an assignment is due on January 12 at 23:59:59, and you submit it on January 14 at 23:00, you receive the two day penalty.

No credit will be given to assignments that are submitted more than 3 days late.


Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.1! Last modified by Daniel M. Zimmerman on 7 February 2005