Theory Student Seminar
"A classic is something that
everybody wants to have read
and nobody wants to read."
- Mark Twain
About TSS

The Theory Student Seminar (TSS) is a student-run seminar which exists to save theory students time and effort in reading "classic" papers and keeping in touch with active research and open problems in theoretical computer science. We meet once a week, late afternoon, for about an hour in the theory lab. Though the TSS is driven by the graduate students of the theory group, we welcome everyone (undergrads, graduate students, postdocs, etc.) to attend.

Presentations are given by the body of attendees, though new students are not expected to give a talk during their first term. Some of the most successful presentations were tutorials on topics related to theoretical computer science, from model theory to Chernoff bounds. The TSS is also an appropriate place for practice talks. For a list of previous topics, click here.

Theory Student Seminar for 2024 Winter term will be on Wednesdays 5 - 6 pm in SF 3208-10. If you would like to be added to or removed from the mailing list where talk advertisements and abstracts are circulated, email tssadmin [at]

The topics are mostly graduate level but the presenters should make it more accessible to people without previous background in the specific research field. For undergraduate students at UofT who wants to attend the talks, passing second year theory courses like CSC236/240 and CSC263/265 would be a bare minimum. We expect the audience to be familiar with probability, linear algebra, algorithms analysis, and basics of complexity theory. We also recommend CS Theory Toolkit lecture series by Ryan O'Donnell, which helps you explore different topics in theoretical computer science.

Current Organizers

Lawrence Li

Harry Sha

Winter 2024 Schedule

If you want to sign up to give a talk, feel free to email tssadmin [at] or talk to any of the current organizers.

Date Title Speaker
2024 / 01 / 17 Extension-based proofs and the impossibility of approximate agreement on graphs [show abstract] Jason Liu
2024 / 01 / 24 Frugal Colouring of Graphs with Girth At Least Five [show abstract][slides] Ziyang Jin
2024 / 01 / 31 Stochastic Processes and Chaining[show abstract] Yibin Zhao
2024 / 02 / 07 Cauchy Converse[show abstract] Lily Li
2024 / 02 / 14 Short Cycle Decomposition[show abstract] Lawrence Li
2024 / 02 / 21 Levy's Lemma, with Applications in Quantum Information[show abstract] Adrian She
2024 / 02 / 28 3-AP-free sets: Behrend, Green-Wolf, and Hunter[show abstract] Morgan Shirley
2024 / 03 / 06 Construction of One-Local Expanders and Constant Locality Ramanujan Graphs[show abstract] Devansh Shringi
2024 / 03 / 13 Yao's Garbled Circuits and Some Primitives in Cryptography[show abstract] Ziyang Jin
2024 / 03 / 20 Temporal Fair Division[show abstract] Ben Cookson
2024 / 03 / 27 String Searching Algorithms[show abstract] Haohua Tang
2024 / 04 / 03 Polynomial Evaluation Codes[show abstract] Harry Sha
2024 / 04 / 10 TBD Soroush Ebadian
2024 / 04 / 17 TBD Matthew Hagan
2024 / 04 / 24 TBD TBD
2024 / 05 / 01 TBD Renato Ferreira Pinto Jr.
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