(rev. January 26, 2018)
[2018/01/26: Initial Edits]
for Theory of Algorithms: CS 4440
CLASS INFO FROM SCHEDULE:
20600 CS 4440 001 Theory of Algorithms Lec 3.0 MWF 15:00-15:50 P-101
INSTRUCTOR: John Sarraille, Professor of Computer Science
Professional Schools Building (also known as Demergasso-Bava Hall), Cal State Stanislaus
(The first day of scheduled office hours is Wednesday, January 31, 2018, and
the last is Wednesday, May 16, 2018.)
- Wednesdays 11:00-13:00
- Thursdays 14:00-15:00
- Fridays 11:00-13:00
- or ask me for an appointment at a time that works for you
It is important that you be adequately prepared for taking this
course, CS 4440.
Check with me if you have not passed both:
- CS 3100 (Data Structures + Algorithms), or the equivalent, and
- MATH 2300 (Discrete Structures), or the equivalent.
The highest aims of this course are:
One way to work toward those aims is to study algorithms and approaches to
algorithm design that are widely believed to be good for common programming
problems. At the same time, one should seek to understand how "good" should
be defined. Such studies are another goal of this course.
- to learn how to make the best possible algorithms,
- to know when it is impossible to make an algorithm any better, and
- to learn to choose an appropriate algorithm for a given problem.
It is necessary that we know how to analyze the potential efficiency of an
algorithm using such tools as discrete mathematics, probability, and
statistics. We also need to study such abstractions as computational
complexity, reduction, non-determinism, and NP-completeness, in order to
better appreciate the limitations of computing machines.
It will be important that you read and write algorithms, and
practice doing the steps involved in their analysis.
; written by Jon Kleinberg and Eva Tardos
; published by Addison Wesley
; ISBN 9780321295354 (subscr: 9780133072525)
PDFs OF TEXT SLIDES AVAILABLE HERE:
As background and review:
As the main course content:
- Chapter 2 (Basics of Algorithm Analysis), and
- Chapter 3 (Graphs)
Possibly we'll make some adjustments to the list above.
- Chapter 1 (Representative Problems);
- Chapter 4 (Greedy Algorithms), sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, & 4.6;
- Chapter 5 (Divide and Conquer), sections 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, & 5.4;
- Chapter 6 (Dynamic Programming), sections 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4,
6.6, 6.7, & 6.8;
- Chapter 7 (Network Flow), sections 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.5, 7.7, 7.8, & 7.9;
- Chapter 8 (NP and Computational Complexity) sections 8.1, 8.2, 8.3,
8.4, & 8.5;
TESTS & GRADING:
Your course grade will be based on a class participation component (=PC) and a
test component (=TC).
Satisfactory class participation means satisfactory work on
assigned problems, if any, a good attendance record,
evidence that you are staying current with the
reading assignments, and satisfactory contributions
to in-class discussions.
There will be class discussions of problems. I may sometimes require you to
work on problems in advance and turn in notes that "show your work."
(similar to homework assignments, but they will not be graded in
the traditional sense.) Some problems I assign may involve
programming, but not long programs.
There will be at least two in-term exams and a comprehensive final exam.
I'll calculate a test component of your course grade by counting your
grade on the final with a weight of 1/3. Your exam scores will be
included with a weight of 2/3, after 'adjustment'. The adjustment will
be to substitute your grade on the final in place of any exam scores that
are lower than your grade on the final.
As an example, if there are three exams and a final, and if your scores are
60, 80, and 70 on the exams, and 75 on the final, then
I'll average (75, 80, 75) as your adjusted quiz average
(instead of averaging 60, 80, and 70). That average works out to
76.67. I'll then compute your test component as
(2/3)(76.67) + (1/3)(75) = 76.11.
Your course grade will be
TC + PC/10
where TC is your test component, and PC is your participation component.
This means, to continue the example, if your test component
works out to be 76.11, but you get 100 as your participation,
grade, your course grade will be a 86.11, which equates to a letter
grade of B.
For letter grades, I equate F with 0-60,
D with 61-70, C with 71-80, B with 81-90,
and A with 91-100 (or higher).
MISSED EXAMS AND LATE ASSIGNMENTS:
I will not give make-up, late or early exams.
I will not accept late assignments.
Get started early on your studies and/or assignments.
That way, if you run into difficulty, you
can seek help in class and/or office hours in a timely fashion.
To "survive" in a class like this, you may need to put aside "foolish pride,"
stubbornness, and/or shyness. If you find you are not making good progress in
the course, please seek help from me promptly. You may speak to me after
class or during my office hours. You may send me a message by e-mail. You
are entitled to get help this way. Please don't subvert your chances of
success by continuing to "spin your wheels" until it is too late.
We can have class discussions about exam dates and whatever
due dates I may give you. I may be willing to change
such dates. If you want a change in the schedule,
please bring this up (in class, preferably) as soon as possible, and not at
the last minute. (It's usually a good idea for class members to try to work
out some consensus among themselves before bringing the subject up with me.)
If I give you an assignment and you cannot finish it on time, please
turn in whatever you have done. Then it will be
possible to get some credit instead of
no credit. If you turn in nothing by the due date, I have to
assume you did nothing.
College is not for everyone. Some people who go to college don't do well in all their classes. Sometimes they fail classes. Sometimes they decide to change majors
to something more do-able. Some people who start college don't graduate.
College demands that the student learn actively and independently.
Naturally college makes demands on instructors too. I want you to get as much
as possible out of the course. I hope to be accessible and helpful to you.
Read and study everything I assign as soon as possible. Read difficult
material more than once! Attend all classes. Pay close attention. Take
notes to help you think about things and remember things. Hand write your
notes, because writing helps people learn better than typing notes (Yes!
See this article in Scientific American).
Review your notes before each class. Get started on assignments early.
Do a little work each day so that work never piles up.
Bring your questions and problems concerning
assignments to class each day.
Finish assignments and reading on time. Be an active learner.
Do what you can to keep class
discussion productive. Reply to questions. Ask questions and
make remarks if you feel you have something to add or if you want me to
explain something better.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN WORK:
Sometimes it can be difficult for the student to figure out the difference
between 'cheating' and 'working smart.' Here is some guidance:
Assignments: If I give you any sort of "homework," unless I
specifically tell you you can work with a team, I expect you to do
the assignment by yourself.
When your purpose is to clarify the
meaning of the directions I have given for an assignment you may
discuss those directions with other people, including your classmates,
as much as you like. You may also freely discuss the relative merits
of various general approaches to designing and engineering solutions
to an assignment.
You may use ideas, algorithms, or segments of program code from
You are permitted to share such material, as described in 1-3 above, with
other members of this class.
- any printed material available for student check-out in our library,
- our course text, or
- any programming textbooks to which you have access.
You may ask me for help and hints on assignments. I prefer that you ask
questions in class, so that everyone has a chance to benefit from the
On the other hand, except when I specifically assign you to work on
a team, until the time comes for us to discuss solutions in class
By the way, of course, at no time is it OK to turn in solutions copied
from answer books illicitly posted on the web.
- You must not give or accept any other kind of help.
- You may not allow any part of a solution you compose (make up) for
a homework assignment to be communicated to another member of the class
or allow such material to be communicated to you.
- A corollary to the point above is that one member of the class may
not look at the homework of another member of the class, whether
on paper or on a computer screen.
Exams: You must write your exams/tests with no discussion or help from
anyone. The one exception is that you are allowed to come forward and ask me
to clarify the meaning of a test question, if you wish. It will be up to me
to decide how to answer, or whether to answer at all. I will tell the class
any new information that arises from such an exchange.
Penalties: If there is compelling evidence that an assignment or exam
was not done according to the above criteria, I will withhold credit for the
assignment, lower your course grade, and/or refer the case for disciplinary
action, as I deem appropriate.
NETWORK AVAILABILITY OF COURSE MATERIALS:
I make course documents, assignments, supplements, and so on available via the
world wide web. To access the on-line CS 4440 materials, just open this URL:
Also, there is a miscellaneous collection of information that you
may want to use from time to time. It is located here: