George Mason University 


CS600 - Theory of Computation - Fall 2019

Tuesday -- 4:30-7:10, Innovation 134

Prerequisites | Description | Readings | Syllabus | Grading | Late | TA | Dates

This page last updated on 8/19/2019

Professor Dana Richards 


(Please prefix the subject of your email with CS600.) 

Course office hours: Tuesday and Thursday  3:00-4:00 or by appt.

Engineering Building - Room 5320 


CS583 (and so CS310, CS330, and MATH 125); that is data structures, algorithms, undergraduate theory, and discrete math.


(From catalog)  Introduction to logic and proof techniques, formal languages, automata theory, and computational complexity. Specific topics include regular and context-free languages, Turing machines, NP-completeness, and undecidability.


  1. Intro to the Theory of Computation--third edition, by Sipser.


The pace will vary and some chapters will be abridged.

Chapter 0 -- Sipser

Chapter 1 -- Sipser

Chapter 2 -- Sipser

Chapter 3 -- Sipser

Chapter 4 -- Sipser

Chapter 5 -- Sipser

Chapter 6 -- Sipser

Chapter 7 -- Sipser

Chapter 8 -- Sipser (?)

Tentatively, Exam #1 will be October 22  and Exam #2 will be December 17 (at 4:30). 

Exam #2 is not cumulative.


Exams -- 100%

The two exams, including the final, each cover about a half of the semester; the final is not cumulative. 

Of these exams the highest score will count 60%, and the lowest 40%. 

Homework is ungraded.

All testing is closed book, but limited notes are permitted, as follows. One sheet of notes (8.5 by 11 inches, 1 side only). NO COPYING is allowed. That means no photocopying of anything, even the textbook, though you may write out material from it verbatim. It also means no copying of anyone else's notes, even by hand. You may use a computer for editing your own notes. The sheet must be turned in with your exam. Violations of these rules for creating the notes is considered a violation of the Honor Code. 

The exams, of course, are covered by the Honor Code.


No laptops, cell-phones, etc. (If you need a laptop for note-taking then see me.)