Covers basic topics in automata, computability, and complexity theory, including:
models of computation (finite automata, Turing machines and RAMs); regular sets
and expressions; recursive, r.e., and non-r.e. sets and their basic closure
properties; complexity classes; determinism vs. non-determinism, with and
without resource bounds; reductions and completeness; practice with NP- and
P-completeness proofs; and the complexity of optimization and approximation problems.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
- describe the relationship between formal languages and machines that can recognize them;
- describe the hierarchy of finite automaton, stack machines, and Turing machines;
- state the definitions of the primary concepts of the course, such as decidability, intractability,
determinism, computability, recursive enumerability, and the Church-Turing thesis;
- understand the difference between decidable and undecidable problems;
- apply reducibility techniques to classify problems;
- classify a given decidable problem as belonging to P, NP, NP-complete, or exponential time complexity classes;
- work together to teach each other course material;
- present a clear, concise solution to a problem in written form;
- present a clear, concise solution to a problem or summary of a topic orally.
Participation and Absences
You are expected to attend class and participate in discussions every day,
answering questions, asking questions,
presenting material, etc.
You may miss three non-presentation days with no penalty. These can be for sports travel,
school sanctioned activities, sick, etc. You are expected to make up any work you miss
through these absences. Every subsequent absence will result in a 4% penalty on your final grade.
It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant
to federal and state law. Students should contact Julie Brown in the Office of Academic
Success (505.2954; email@example.com) to begin the accommodation process. Any student
seeking accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform the instructor
at the beginning of the course.
As stated in the Hendrix Academic
, all students have agreed to adhere to the following principles:
- All students have an equal right to their opinions and to receive constructive criticism.
- Students should positively engage the course material and encourage their classmates to do the same.
- No students should gain an unfair advantage or violate their peers' commitment to honest work and genuine effort. It follows that any work that a student submits for class will be that student's own work. The amount of cooperation undertaken with other students, the consistency and accuracy of work, and the test-taking procedure should adhere to those guidelines that the instructor provides.
- Members of the Hendrix community value and uphold academic integrity because we recognize that scholarly pursuits are aimed at increasing the shared body of knowledge and that the full disclosure of sources is the most effective way to ensure accountability to both ourselves and our colleagues.
More details of our departmental stance on integrity can be found in the
Computer Science Academic Integrity Policy
Extensions are only given when
circumstances beyond your control (e.g. being sick, choir or sports travel)
prevent you from completing a project on time. You must notify me either by
email or phone of your circumstances well in advance of the due date.
We will be covering most of the recommended textbook following the format in the table of contents.
We will also be using additional supplemental material such as relevant web-pages
and background material.
Additional readings will be assigned before material will be covered in class. You are expected
to review the material and come to class prepared.
You will have many many homework problems in this course, with problems assigned almost every day,
for a total of
45% of your final grade.
There will be individual as well as group portions to most homeworks. Individual questions
must be completed and submitted individually. You are
required to complete all individual sections and your group section.
All homeworks must be written using LaTeX and
turned in as a PDF on Moodle.
There are many resources available for LaTeX on the web, including the
LaTeX Math Symbols,
and a WikiBook on LaTeX.
I recommend using ShareLaTeX to create your documents,
it is an online implementation of LaTeX that allows for collaboration.
Here is a great template
LaTeX file for homework assignments.
You will be rotating through assigned groups for your homeworks over the course
of the semester.
For each question, one member
of your group will be randomly chosen to present your group's work in class.
This presenter must also be prepared to answer
questions first from members of the other groups and then from the instructor.
The goal of these presentations is to work as a class and as a group to
teach each other the concepts in theory of computation and to improve
each other's presentation skills.
If the presenter is successful, all members of the group are awarded 3 points.
If there are major errors in the written answer, the accuracy of the answer, or
the oral presentation skills, the question will be remanded to the group. Within
one week, in future
class sessions, this original presenter must ask to present their question again.
If successful after the second presentation, the group will earn 2 points. If there
are further concerns, the question will be once again remanded to the group, and can
be presented one more final time within one week, where a successful presentation will earn the
group 1 point.
If the presentation is successful, but there are minor errors in the written answer,
the accuracy of the answer, or
the oral presentation skills, 0.5 points will be deducted from this group score.
If any group member is absent from class
without a valid excuse when a group is awarded points, this member will receive 0 points.
If an absent group member without a valid excuse is randomly chosen to present,
another group member will be selected and 1 point will be deducted from this group score.
4 points per individual per day will also be awarded for asking insightful questions
of presentations of other groups.
Your total points accumulated are divided by the total number of questions
your groups have been asked to answer, and then your final percentage for this
section is determined by the following formula (bounded below by 0 and above by 110).
Therefore, to earn the maximum number of points, you are responsible for ensuring
that all group members are prepared to accurately present
all questions assigned to your group, and that you engage other groups through
insightful questions and constructive feedback.
- Hall, Hong, Murray, Thomasson, Wycoff
- Barker, Bayer, Belding, Dietrich
- Ali, Hirrel, Mershon, Yalom
- Ali, Dietrich, Mershon, Thomasson
- Barker, Belding, Hall, Murray
- Baer, Hirrel, Hong, Wycoff, Yalom
There will be three exams, respectively worth 10%, 20%, and 25% of your final grade. They will be take-home
exams and will cover material from the homeworks.
- Exam 1: Due September 20
- Exam 2: Due October 30
- Final: Due Final Exam period December 12 8:30am
Your final grade for this course will be based on the Homework, Exams and
Presentations described above.
© Mark Goadrich, Hendrix College