Newly established theoretical computer science group in Heidelberg in March 2020.

webadmin   04.11.2020

Seminar Random Discrete Structures

Instructors: Felix Joos and Richard Lang
Mondays, 2–4pm (first session November 9)
Place: TBA
LSF, Moodle

More details on the topics can be found on Moodle.


Over the past decades the use of probabilistic arguments in combinatorics and computer science has become a standard approach and led to (elegant) solutions of many hard problems. In this seminar, we will take a closer look at these techniques and study their applications and limits.

We begin by reading a few chapters of the book of Alon and Spencer (The probabilistic method) and then continue with a selection of research papers and other materials. The list of topics includes: linearity of expectation, second moment method, Lovász Local Lemma, concentration inequalities, dependent random choice and the entropy method.

Target group

The seminar is aimed to bachelor (Wahlpflicht) and master students in  mathematics, computer science and scientific computing. The topics and techniques build on the lecture Discrete Structures I.


The seminar will consist of twelve sessions. In each meeting a participant will give a presentation on a topic of one's choice. The first session will be an introduction to the general subject. Grades will be based on the quality of presentation and active participation.

If you would like to attend the seminar, please sign up on Moodle and come to the first meeting. Additional inquiries may be directed to Richard Lang,