Welcome to the website of the CS theory group at CU Boulder!  Our faculty and students research all aspects of theoretical computer science, from core areas such as algorithms, complexity, and cryptography, to connections with other fields such as machine learning, algebraic geometry, economics, dynamical systems, biology, and control theory.  

We are a growing group, and are currently taking on students at both the master and doctoral level.

Follow us @bouldertheory on Twitter. To hear about upcoming talks, events, and other opportunities, please join the cs-theory-announce email list.

Check out our Theory Seminar.


John Black: cryptography, combinatorial algorithms, graph theory
Rafael Frongillo: theoretical machine learning, algorithmic economics, symbolic dynamics
Joshua Grochow: computational complexity (esp. algebraic and geometric), algebraic algorithms, complex systems and dynamics, complex networks
Alexandra Kolla: spectral graph theory, unique games conjecture, algorithms, complexity, convex programming, quantum computing
Ashutosh Trivedi: cyber-physical system analysis, stochastic systems, logic and automata
Bo Waggoner (starting Aug 2019): algorithmic game theory, theoretical machine learning, differential privacy

Theory-Associated Faculty

Stephen Becker, Applied Math: convex and non-convex optimization, signal processing, numerical linear algebra, compressed sensing and sparse/low-rank recovery
Sebastian "Yano" Casalaina-Martin, Mathematics: algebraic geometry (curves, abelian varieties, cubic threefolds, vector bundles, moduli spaces)
Lijun Chen, Computer Science & Telecommunications: optimization, control, game theory, networked systems theory
Aaron Clauset, Computer Science & BioFrontiers Institute: network science, computational social science, computational systems biology
David Grant, Mathematics: number theory (finding rational points on curves and abelian varieties), space-time codes, cryptography
Claire Monteleoni, Computer Science (Starting Aug '18): machine learning algorithms and theory (data streams, unsupervised learning, latent structure, privacy), applications for social good (climate informatics, environment, sustainability)
Grzegorz Rozenberg, Computer Science (Adjunct) and Leiden University: DNA computing, theory of concurrent systems, theory of transition systems, theory of traces, graph transformations, formal languages and automata, 2-structures
Graeme Smith, Physics and JILA: quantum information, quantum computing, Shannon theory, error correction, physics of information
Katherine Stange, Mathematics: cryptography, number theory, game theory
Jonathan Wise, Mathematics: algebraic geometry (logarithmic geometry, deformation theory, moduli of curves, Gromov-Witten theory)


Nathan Lindzey (starting Jan 2019)
Eric Reckwerdt

Ph.D. Students

Charles Carlson
Jessie Finocchario
Robert Green (starting Fall 2018)
Tyler Schrock (Math)
Sharadha Srinivasan (starting Fall 2018)

Undergraduate Researchers


Elliot Gorokhovsky (ASU)
Luke Meszar (CU Boulder)
Sam Schlesinger (U. Mass., Amherst)
Michael Vienneau (CU Boulder)
Yang Song (CU Boulder)


Jamie Tucker-Foltz (Amherst, Summer 2017)
Nicole Woytarowicz (CU Boulder, senior thesis defended Spring 2017)
Brennan McConnell (CU Boulder, senior thesis defended Spring 2017)

Graduate Courses

Core Theory

CSCI 5454: Algorithms [recent offering]
CSCI 5444: Theory of Computation [recent offering]
CSCI 5654: Linear and Integer Programming [recent offering] [coursera]
CSCI 6564: Advanced Algorithms [recent offering]
CSCI 5254: Convex Optimization [recent offering]
CSCI 7000: Cryptography and Cryptanalysis [recent offering (applied)]

Related Courses

CSCI 5314: Algorithms in Molecular Biology [recent offering]
CSCI 5352: Network Analysis and Modeling [recent offering]
CSCI 7000: Algorithmic Economics and Machine Learning [recent offering]
MATH 4440/5440: The Mathematics of Coding and Cryptography [recent offering]
CSCI 7000: Tensors and Computational Complexity [offered Fall '17]
CSCI 5854: Foundations of Cyber-Physical Systems


Andrzej Ehrenfeucht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Harold "Hal" Gabow, Professor Emeritus