Date 
Topic 
Reference 
Notes 
Jan 29 
Intro, Vertex Cover 
Chapter 1.1 

Jan 31 
Steiner Tree, TSP 
Chapter 2.4, Exercise 2.5 

Feb 5 
Greedy: Set Cover 
Chapter 1.6 

Feb 7 
Greedy: Max Coverage, kCenter 
Chapter 2.2, Exercise 2.11 

Feb 12 
Local Search: Max Cut and Weighted Max Cut 

HW1 released 
Feb 14 
Local Search: Min Degree Spanning Tree 
Chapters 2.6, 9.3 

Feb 19 
Rounding and Dynamic Programming: Knapsack 
Chapter 3.1 

Feb 21 
Rounding and Dynamic Programming: Min Makespan Scheduling, Bin Packing 
Chapters 3.2, 3.3 
HW1 due, HW2 released 
Feb 26 
Intro to LPs for Approximation Algorithms 
Chapters 1.2, 1.3, 4.3, Appendix A 

Feb 28 
Deterministic Rounding: Metric Uncapacitated Facility Location 
Chapter 4.5 

Mar 5 
Randomized Rounding: Set Cover and UFL 
Chapters 1.7, 5.8 

Mar 7 
Randomized Rounding: Integer Multicommodity Flow 
Chapters 5.10, 5.11 
HW2 due, HW3 released 
Mar 12 
Randomized Rounding: Group Steiner Tree 
Notes from CMU, GKR paper 

Mar 14 
Tree Embeddings and Group Steiner Tree 
Chapter 8.5 

Mar 26 
Tree Embeddings: FRT 
Chapter 8.5 

Mar 28 
LPs as Metrics: st Mincut and Multiway Cut 
Chapters 8.1, 8.2 
HW3 due, HW4 released 
Apr 2 
LPs as metrics: Multiway Cut and Multicut 
Chapter 8.2 

Apr 4 
LPs as Metrics: Multicut 
Chapter 8.3 

Apr 9 
LP duality and flow/cut gaps 
Chapter 1.4, Appendix A 

Apr 11 
Dual Fitting and PrimalDual Algorithms 
Chapters 1.5, 1.6, 7.1, 7.3 
HW4 due, HW5 released 
Apr 16 
PrimalDual: Steiner Forest 
Chapter 7.4 

Apr 18 
Semidefinite Programming: MaxCut 
Chapters 6.1, 6.2 

Apr 23 
Semidefinite Programming: Correlation Clustering and Max2SAT 
Chapter 6.4 

Apr 25 
Strengthening Relaxations: KnapsackCover Inequalities 
Chapter 7.5 
HW5 due 
Apr 30 
Hardness of Approximation and the PCP Theorem 
Chapters 16.1, 16.2, 16.3 

May 3 
Hardness of Approximation: TwoProver Proof Systems and Label Cover 
Chapter 16.4 
