People who analyze algorithms have double happiness. First of all they experience the sheer beauty of elegant mathematical patterns that surround elegant computational procedures. Then they receive a practical payoff when their theories make it possible to get other jobs done more quickly and more economically.
Mathematical models have been a crucial inspiration for all scientific activity, even though they are only approximate idealizations of real-world phenomena. Inside a computer, such models are more relevant than ever before, because computer programs create artificial worlds in which mathematical models often apply precisely. I think that's why I got hooked on analysis of algorithms when I was a graduate student, and why the subject has been my main life's work ever since.

Analysis of Algorithms (Winter 2017/18)


This course is about mathematical tools and techniques needed to analyze algorithms rigorously. We will learn how to analyze the average running time of algorithms (as opposed to the worst-case running time), recurrence relations, generating functions, and asymptotic approximations.


Theoretical Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Science elective course in the area "Theoretical Computer Science"
  • Informatik (GYM+GS,SII), Hauptstudium
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.),
    lecture is part of the Complexity and Algorithm Theory area of specialization
If you are still a B.Sc. student, you are very welcome to join this course. The credits that you earn will be transferred to your Master's studies.


The entire course (lectures and tutorials) will be in English.


There are soft requirements for this course: We expect students to have taken basic undergraduate courses in algorithms/programming along with the relevant math courses.


No registration is required to attend the lectures or the weekly tutorial. You must, however, register for the final exam.

ECTS Credits

The student will be awarded 8 ECTS credits after passing the final exam.

Course Material

Here are the weekly problem sets. You are encouraged to do the homework and discuss and work in groups, however, they will not be scored and are not mandatory for the exam.


We are (slowly) translating the handouts from German to English. We will upload translations as and when they are ready. However the books that are referred below provide excellent material for this course and should definitely be consulted.

More Information on Analysis of Algorithms