Syllabus

Description. This course surveys the most important algorithms and data structures in use on computers today. Particular emphasis is given to algorithms for sorting, searching, graphs, and strings. The course concentrates on developing implementations, understanding their performance characteristics, and estimating their potential effectiveness in applications.

Prerequisites. COS 126 or ISC 231–234 or approval by the COS placement officer.

Lectures. Lectures meet at 11–12:20pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Friend 101. Laptops, tablets, and phones are prohibited, except for activities directly related to lecture, such as viewing lecture slides and taking notes.

Precepts. Precepts meet once per week and cover details pertinent to programming assignments, quizzes, and exams. Come prepared to participate in the discussion, not just ask questions.

Course staff.

Kevin Wayne
Faculty
Instructor

Maia Ginsburg
Faculty
Lead Preceptor

Ibrahim Albluwi
Faculty
Lead Preceptor

Bob Tarjan
Faculty
Preceptor

Lisa Jian
Graduate Student
Preceptor

Chris Sciavolino
Graduate Student
Preceptor

Devon Loehr
Graduate Student
Preceptor

The staff is complemented by a team of Undergraduate Course Assistants who assist in the grading (Alex Dipasupil, Alexander Valtchanov, Andre Yin, Andrew Castleman, Anna Qin, Audrey Cheng, Camille Liotine, Charlie Liu, Chris Barkachi, Connor Hainje, Daniel Bauman, David Todd, Edward Gartner, Ethan Seide, Fleming Peck, Janet Wang, Jeremy Pulmano, Joseph Kim, Leslie Kim, Mwad Saleh, Ryan Zhang, Savannah McIntosh, William Li, Yazan Mimi, Ze-Xin Koh).

Office hours. You are welcome to attend the office hours of any staff member. Office hours are listed on the Help page.

TIME ROOM PERSON OFFICE
L01 T Th
11–12:20pm
Friend
101
Kevin
Wayne
Corwin
040
P01 Th
1:30–2:50pm
Friend
016
Maia
Ginsburg
Corwin
041
P02 Th
3–4:20pm
Friend
016
Chris
Sciavolino
TBA
P04 F
11–12:20pm
Friend
009
Ibrahim
Albluwi
221 Nassau St.
Room 106
P05 F
11–12:20pm
Friend
111
Lisa
Jian
TBA
P07 F
1:30–2:50pm
Friend
009
Devon
Loehr
TBA
P08 F
3–4:20pm
Friend
009
Ibrahim
Albluwi
221 Nassau St.
Room 106
P09 Th
3–4:20pm
Sherrerd
001
Bob
Tarjan
194 Nassau St.
Room 308
P10 Th
3–4:20pm
TBA
TBA
Maia
Ginsburg
Corwin 041

ASSESSMENTS

Programming assignments. The programming assignments involve applying the material from lecture to solve problems in science, engineering, and commerce.

Quizzes. The quizzes consist of two or three short questions per lecture, to ensure that you are keeping up with the material.

Exams. The in-class midterm exam is Tuesday, October 22. The final exam is scheduled by the Registrar.

iClickers. To make the lectures more interactive, we will be using iClickers. Any hardware version is suitable. You must register your device in Blackboard.

Course grades. Your grade for the course will be based on the following components: programming assignments (45%), quizzes (10%), midterm exam (15%), final exam (25%), and participation (5%). Participation includes using iClickers in lecture and making positive contributions in precept or on Piazza.

Regrades. If you believe that your work was misgraded, write a short note describing the potential mistake; attach it to the graded work; and give it to your preceptor within two weeks of when the work was returned.

RESOURCES

Course website. This course website includes links to course content, including lecture slides, programming assignments, quizzes, and old exams.

Algorithms, 4th edition

Textbook. Algorithms, 4th edition by Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2011, ISBN 0-321-57351-X. The assigned readings are required.

Booksite. The booksite contains many useful resources while programming.

Lecture videos. You can access lecture videos via Classroom Salon.

Discussion forum. The best way to ask a short question about the course materials is via Piazza, an online discussion forum where you can ask (and answer) questions.

Programming environment. We recommend developing Java programs for this course on your personal laptop or desktop. Here are instructions for setting up a custom IntelliJ-based programming environment under Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Workstation computers. If you do not have a computer (or your computer fails during the semester), we recommend using the Mac OS X machines in either the McGraw DLL or J-Street Library, which have our custom IntelliJ-based programming environment pre-installed.

Lab TAs. Undergraduate lab TAs are available to answer general computing questions in Lewis 121. They can assist you in debugging, provided you have first made a reasonable effort to identify the bug and isolate the problem. For non-debugging questions, use Piazza or office hours.