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I need a detailed automata theory (or Theory of Computation) video lecture series to go hand in hand with the classic text books mentioned in this question

The books are fine but I am having problem in understanding many portions of the texts on my own.

I want to develop an intuition about the theory and related problems which I feel I am quite lacking.

(I am following "Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation" by Hopcroft, Ullman, Motwani)

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  • $\begingroup$ Is there a reason you're using that book instead of Sipser? $\endgroup$ – Ben I. May 9 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ No serious reason, I saw many people recommend both the Ullman and Sipser, so I though of first reading the Ullman and then move on to Sipser $\endgroup$ – Ran Mouri May 10 at 6:36
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not familiar with the Ullman, but I am mostly self-taught on computational theory, I've found that automata stuff is pretty thoroughly covered online, and googling around gets me clear answers to most questions. Periodically, I also have asked questions at Computer Science. $\endgroup$ – Ben I. May 11 at 1:14
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In the course I co-teach on Automata, Computability and Complexity Theory we use the excellent videos by Harry Porter to replace our classical lectures, and use our contact hours instead to practice with the material together with the students.

Porter follows the book "Introduction to the Theory of Computation" by Sipser.

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A quick google search reveals two courses on the MIT OCW website:

  • Automata, Computability, and Complexity taught by Scott Aaronson; has Sipser along with two other texts as recommended reading, and comes with lecture notes and assignments

  • Theory of Computation taught by Sipser himself (!) with the 2nd edition of his textbook as required reading. It comes with assignments, exams, and notes on what readings should be done for each section, but does not have lecture notes uploaded.

If neither of these suit, there is a whole category on the MIT OCW website that has computational theory course materials.


If you want video lectures, there is this series on YouTube taught by a UC Davis professor based upon Sipser's textbook (the series is 26 lectures, each about 1hr15 in length).

Most of these are based on Sipser, not Hopcroft et al., but Sipser is another classic text recommended in the question you link, so I figure these will likely work for you. Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ the video lecture series by the UC Davis professor has certain video lectures missing, The playlist shows 22 videos but the last video says lecture 26... There are other problems with this lecture series as well, like frozen recordings( video lecture 26 gets stuck at around 7:02) $\endgroup$ – Abhishek Ghosh Jun 14 at 18:45
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I high recommend taking a look at the Stanford CS103 course page archive, which has links to very engaging lectures, and lot of great supplementary resources, such as handouts, problem sets, and lecture notes / slides.

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