Math 220 - Theory of Computing

Centenary College of Louisiana
Wright Building Lab 105
MWF 11:00 - 11:50 - Fall 2009

Instructor: Dr. Mark Goadrich

Contact Info
104 Wright Building
(318) 869-5194

Office Hours
MW 9:00-11:00
TR 1:00-3:00
or by appointment

Overview | Syllabus | Homework | Exams | Grading

Course Details


An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata, Fourth Edition
by Peter Linz, 2006
ISBN: 9780763737986
Find this book at Amazon


Two main questions arise with computational problem solving: can a problem be solved at all, and if so, how efficiently? Topics include computability and complexity theory as related to Turing machines, finite state automata, regular and context-free grammars, and the complexity classes of P and NP.


CSC 207 or permission of instructor.

Quizzes and Participation

You are encouraged to attend class and participate in discussions. Active participation in class discussions and short quizzes will comprise 5% of your final grade.

Extra Credit

Extra credit for this course can be earned by participating in the Centenary Math Problem of the Week (POTW). Each reasonable submission will be worth an additional 0.5% toward your final grade, CC me with your submission for credit.


Centenary assures students with disabilities equal opportunity to reach the same level of achievement as other students. Strict confidentiality will be maintained on students with disabilities. Services for students with disabilities are available through the Counseling Center, located on the ground floor of Rotary Residence Hall, phone (318) 869-5424.

Honor Code

All students are bound by the Honor System. The Honor System is applicable to all academic work. See the Centenary College Handbook for the complete Honor Code.


Each day an assignment is late, you will lose 10% of the credit for that assignment. No late work will be accepted after 5 days past the due date. This is an actual day, not a class day. You will have 2 free late days, to be used at your discretion throughout the semester. If you are turning in an assignment late, you need to email me with how many free late days you plan to use. Extensions beyond this for labs, projects, exams and quizzes 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 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. As readings are assigned, they will be posted here. Course notes can be found on PicasaWeb


You will have weekly Homeworks in this course, with problems assigned almost every day, for a total of 50% of your final grade. These homeworks will cover concepts we have discussed in class, and will be due approximately one week after they are assigned.

All homeworks must be written using LaTeX and turned in as a PDF on the cs server. There are many resources available for LaTeX on the web, including the LaTeX Math Symbols. Here are a few files that will assist with creating your homework PDFs.


There will be three exams, each worth 15% of your final grade. They will be take-home exams and will cover material from the homeworks.


Your final grade for this course will be based on the Homework, Project, Exams and Participation described above.
Grading Scale
Exam 115%
Exam 215%

© Mark Goadrich, Centenary College of Louisiana