Theory of Computation

Venn diagram of some major computational complexity classes.

Computer scientists are still investigating whether some computational complexity classes of decision problems may in fact be equal. A famous open area in computer science is the "Does P=NP?" question: are all YES/NO problems that can be verified quickly (NP) actually problems that can be directly solved quickly (P)? The Clay Mathematics Institute offers a $1 million reward for a proof to this question. (Image courtesy of Kayla Jacobs.)


MIT Course Number

18.404J / 6.840J

As Taught In

Fall 2006



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Course Description

This graduate level course is more extensive and theoretical treatment of the material in Computability, and Complexity (6.045J / 18.400J). Topics include Automata and Language Theory, Computability Theory, and Complexity Theory.

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Michael Sipser. 18.404J Theory of Computation. Fall 2006. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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