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Theory of Computation


Sharygina N.

Course director

Bortolotti A.


Britikov K.


Labbaf F.


Villa T.



The course explores what can and cannot be solved on a computer, how quickly, with how much memory, and on which type of computational model. The class is divided into two major parts: computability theory and complexity theory. Computability theory deals primarily with the question of whether a problem is solvable at all on a computer. Complexity theory considers how efficiently the problem can be solved. Two major aspects are considered: time complexity and space complexity, which respectively address a problem of how many steps does it take to perform a computation, and how much memory is required to perform that computation.


The class introduces the fundamental mathematical properties of computer hardware, software, and certain applications thereof.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

The theory subjects have strong connections with engineering practice. In addition to theory lectures, the course will offer practical exercises and labs which will involve experimentation with various tools.

Examination information

There will be a written final exam covering both theory and practice of computability and complexity theories.