Chicago Center for the Theory of Computing and Allied Areas

Over the past forty years, the Theory of Computing ("Theory," as it is commonly referred to in Computer Science curricula) revolutionized computational thinking across a broad range of disciplines in science, engineering, education, economics, business, and public policy.

The study of complexity classes and the asymptotic analysis of algorithms represent the core intellectual agenda of the field. The conceptual framework developed in this purely mathematical pursuit has elevated some areas of inquiry from art to science (cryptography is a prime example but operations research and several areas of artificial intelligence may also be counted in this category) and it has exerted a paradigm-shifting influence on other areas such as quantum computing and game theory (modelling of economic behavior). The Theory of Computing has arguably contributed to the rise of billion-dollar industries such as genomics and web search, and its influence on key technologies continues its rapid rise. At the same time, the depth and elegance of its core agenda and its close connection to classical areas of mathematics such as Fourier analysis and the geometry of Banach spaces has attracted top mathematical talent; several Fields medal winning mathematicians are currently active in the field.