CS 483 Spring 2008
Analysis of Algorithms

Time: Wed. 4:30 pm - 7:10 pm
Location: Innovation Hall 206
Course webpage: http://cs.gmu.edu/~jmlien/teaching/08_spring_cs483/

Instructor: Jyh-Ming Lien
Contact: jmlien@gmu.edu, (703) 993-9546, Office 421 ST II

Course Scope. In this course, a thorough examination of several well-known techniques that are used for the design and analysis of algorithms will be covered. Topics to be covered include theoretical measures of algorithm complexity, sorting and selection algorithms, greedy algorithms, divide and conquer techniques, dynamic programming, graph algorithms, search strategies, and an introduction to the theory of NP-completeness. Additional topics may be covered if time permits. Students are expected to have taken prior undergraduate courses in data structures, as well as calculus and discrete mathematics.

Prerequisites. CS 310 and CS 330 Calculus (MATH 113, 114, 213) and MATH 125

Required Textbook.
Algorithms by Sanjoy Dasgupta, Christos Papadimitriou, and Umesh Vazirani, McGraw-Hill, 2006, ISBN 0073523402

You can get a free copy of the draft version of this book at http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~vazirani/algorithms.html.

Grading. [Top]
  1. Quizzes (about every 1-2 weeks) or CS culture assignments (please use this form) 15%
  2. Assignments 25%
  3. Midterm Exam 25%
  4. Final Exam 35%
  5. Final grade: A (>90), B (>80), C (>70), D (>60) or F (<60)

Important Dates. [Top]

  • Spring Break (March 10 ~ 16)
  • Midterm Exam (March 19)
  • Final Exam (May 07)

List of Topics. [Top]
  • Fundamentals of problem solving (problem types, data structures)
  • Analysis of Algorithm Efficiency (asymptotic notation)
  • Brute Force Techniques (sorting, search, traveling salesmen)
  • Divide and Conquer (merge sort, quicksort, binary search)
  • Decrease and Conquer (graph traversals, insertion sort)
  • Transform and Conquer (heapsort, balanced search trees, problem reduction)
  • Dynamic Programming
  • Greedy Techniques (MWST, Dijkstra, Huffman trees)
  • Limitations of Algorithm Power (decision trees, lower bounds, P, NP)
  • Coping with Limitations

Policies. [Top]

All required assignments must be completed by the stated due date and time. There will be absolutely no extensions for the homework (not even in the case of emergency). Your lowest homework grade will not be counted towards your final grade.

Please note that all coursework is to be done independently. Plagiarizing the homework will be penalized by maximum negative credit and cheating on the exam will earn you an F in the course. See the GMU Honor Code System and Policies at http://www.gmu.edu/catalog/acadpol.html and http://www.cs.gmu.edu/honor-code.html. You are encouraged to discuss the material BEFORE you do the assignment. As a part of the interaction you can discuss a meaning of the question or possible ways of approaching the solution. The homework should be written strictly by yourself. In case your solution is based on the important idea of someone else please acknowledge that in your solution, to avoid any accusations.

You will be allowed to have one page (letter size) of notes for the midterm and two pages (one sheet) for the final. No copying of anything from the textbook or another person is allowed. You can write some things verbatim. You can also write your notes on the computer and print them. The notes sheet will be handed in with the exam.

The quiz will be a closed book exam - no notes will be allowed. You can also have up to two opportunities of making up your missed/failed quizzes by turning in two CS culture assignments. A CS culture assignment is a one-page written summary of a talk (please use this form to complete your assignment) from a CS seminar (see http://cs.gmu.edu/events/) that you attend during the Spring'08 semester.