18.405: Advanced Complexity Theory

Table of contents

  1. Course Info
  2. Realistic Prerequisites
  3. Subject Matter
  4. Course Staff
  5. Lectures
  6. Problem Sets
  7. Exams
  8. Resources
  9. Grading
  10. Advice to Future Students

Course Info

Class Size 56
Hours/Week 11.2 (22 responses)
Instructors Richard Williams
Overall Rating 6.6/7.0

Realistic Prerequisites

  • The content of 18.404 was a necessary prerequisite.

Subject Matter

  • A theoretical subject. Broad survey of modern complexity techniques and research.

Course Staff

  • Very caring and approachable.
  • Students expressed that Professor Williams was active on Piazza to answer questions.
  • Students found the office hours helpful.


  • Students expressed lectures were somewhat difficult to follow; however, Professor Williams was happy to answer clarifying questions during the lecture.
  • Students found the textbook helpful to complement the lectures.

Problem Sets

  • The 3 problem sets were challenging and required creativity and collaboration.
  • Students expressed spending a lot of time on psets (e.g. >10 hours) on weeks psets were due.


  • No exams.


  • Students expressed the reference texts and lecture notes were thorough and helpful.


  • Students expressed that the grading was fair.
  • Grading breakdown was 60% psets and 40% project.

Advice to Future Students

”If you’re hungering for more after 18.404, take this class!” ”This class is fun!” ”Class is not easy but teaches a lot.”