Probability for Computer Science

By Prof. Nitin Saxena   |   IIT Kanpur
Learners enrolled: 4525
Probability is one of the most important ideas in human knowledge. This is a crash course to introduce the concept of probability formally; and exhibit its applications in computer science, combinatorics, and algorithms. The course will be different from a typical mathematics course in the coverage and focus of examples. After finishing this course a student will have a good understanding of both theory and practice of probability in diverse areas.

INTENDED AUDIENCE  :  Computer Science & Engineering, Mathematics, Electronics, Physics, Statistics, & similar disciplines.
INDUSTRY SUPPORT  :   Machine Learning, Data Streaming, Discrete Optimization, Cryptography, Coding theory, Computer Algebra, Cyber
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Data Science
  • Foundations of Computing
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 23 Aug 2021
End Date : 15 Oct 2021
Enrollment Ends : 30 Aug 2021
Exam Date : 23 Oct 2021 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introductory examples. Probability for finite space.
Week 2: Sigma algebra. Conditional probability
Week 3: Expectation. Famous random variables.
Week 4: Concentration inequalities. Boosting by Chernoff.
Week 5: Stochastic process.
Week 6: Stationary distribution examples.
Week 7: Probabilistic method examples.
Week 8: Streaming algorithms.

Instructor bio

Prof. Nitin Saxena

IIT Kanpur
I completed my Bachelors in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 2002 and completed my PhD under Manindra Agrawal in 2006. I am broadly interested in Computational Complexity Theory, Algebra, Geometry and Number Theory. I have been a visiting graduate student in Princeton University (2003-2004) and National University of Singapore (2004-2005); a postdoc at CWI, Amsterdam (2006-2008) and a Bonn Junior Fellow (W2 Professor) at Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, Bonn (2008-2013). Since April 2013, I have a faculty position in the department of CSE, IIT Kanpur.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 October 2021 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kanpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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