Elective Modules (EMs)

Note: some material (especially the asynchronous parts) were built and delivered through Canvas (the LMS we used; closed to external traffic). Some text-based parts were reproduced here after the conclusion of the course for documentary purposes. Other parts (e.g., MathML code) could not be reproduced here easily without having to retype every equation. We unfortunately have to resort to PDF snapshots for those parts.

Elective Module Modality Material Assignment
A: Graph Applications in AI Hybrid EMA/D: Overview

Slides for A and D (delivered on the same day)

Difference between Graph/Tree search algorithms

B: Probability Applications in Privacy Synchronous EMB: Overview


Additional Resources

C: Voting and Social Choice Synchronous EMC: Overview


D: Graph Applications in Robotics Hybrid Slides for A and D (delivered on the same day)

Difference between Graph/Tree search algorithms

E: Number Theory and Classical Cryptography Asynchronous EME: Overview

Cryptography Basics (PDF snapshot)

Modular Exponentiation (PDF snapshot)

Euclidean Algorithm (PDF snapshot)

RSA (PDF snapshot)

F: Finite Automata and Regular Language Asynchronous EMF: Overview

Formal Languages (PDF snapshot)

Deterministic Finite Automata (PDF snapshot)


Every EM consists of one 75-minute session of instruction, a further reading, and an assignment.


The instruction of each EM may be implemented as one of the following:

  • An in-person class meeting (EMB, EMC)
  • A Canvas asynchronous module in lieu of the synchronous instruction (EME, EMF)
  • A hybrid of the two forms (EMA, EMD)

Regardless of the modality, the EM instructions do not have any required prepares. We will make sure all EMs happen after the CMs that they need as background.

Further Reading

Should you find yourself interested in an EM and wish to proceed, there are sometimes further reading beyond the instruction and the assignment. There is no separate mechanism to hold you accountable for completing the additional readings; those are for your own interest and learning.


There is one manually graded assignment for each EM on Gradescope.

  • All assignments for EMs are due on LDoC, but we may give you feedback on a rolling basis, especially for EMs with earlier instructions. Edit: we started to grade EM assignments periodically since early April (3 weeks before LDoC); additionally, we allowed submissions to EM assignments all the way until end of May 1st without any penalties.
  • These are supported by specialized members of the teaching team (might just be the instructor). Help on EM material will be more limited than on CM material.
  • Collaboration is still allowed and encouraged (see Community Policies for detailed instructions on collaboration) and there is no limit on working with the same partner in EMs.