The mathematical perspective offered by theory plays a fundamental role in connecting computer science with the other pure sciences. Since the founding of UChicago CS in 1983, theory has been a core strength of the department, in alignment with the scientific vision and strengths of the broader university. CS theory faculty specialize in complexity, logic, uncertainty, combinatorics, randomness and other areas that bridge CS with physics, statistics, and other mathematical sciences.

At UChicago CS, researchers develop theory to understand more abstract, fundamental questions, such as teasing out the inherent limits of computation and their connection with the physical nature of our universe. They also develop theory and build algorithms for applications such as quantum computing, machine learning, and cryptography, working in tandem with other research areas in charting the pathway for tomorrow’s technologies. A robust relationship with the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC), a privately-endowed academic institute located on the UChicago campus, expands and enriches the theory community.