This page, http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~hzhang/c131/, is always under construction.
22C:131 Limits of Computation
A sample final exam of problems can be found here.
This will be the course web page where the assignments are posted.
1:05-2:20 MW, 1100 UCC
Goals and Objectives
This course is a mathematical exploration of the limits of the power
of computers. Some of the questions we ask and attempt to answer are
the following. Are there problems that cannot be solved on any
computer? How does one determine if a given problem can or cannot be
computationally solved? If we place bounds on the resources (time and
space) available to a computer, then what can be said about which
problems can and which problems cannot be solved on a computer? How
does the power of a computer change, if it has access to random bits?
What happens when we relax the notion of solving a problem to
"approximately" solving a problem - does this fundamentally change
which problems can and which problems cannot be solved on a computer?
In attempting to answer these questions we will study the following
- Computation models: Finite State Automata.
- Regular Grammar and Context-free Grammar.
- Turing machines. Definitions and examples.
Turing-decidable and Turing-recognizable languages.
- Enhancements of TMs: multi-tape TMs, non-deterministic TMs.
Equivalence of these and the standard TM.
- Diagonalization. Acceptance problem is undecidable;
Acceptance problem is recognizable; the complement of the Acceptance problem is unrecognizable.
- Reductions. Examples of other undecidable languages. Rice's theorem. Post's Correspondence Problem (PCP) is undecidable.
- Running time of Turing Machines. The classes P, NP, NP-hard, and NP-complete.
- Cook-Levin Theorem, some reductions.
- Space complexity, Savitch's Theorem, PSPACE.
Quantified boolean formula satisfiability is PSPACE-complete. So is Generalized Geography.
- The space heirarchy and the time heirarchy theorems.
Undergraduate algorithms (22C:31) or its equivalent.
Introduction to the Theory of Computation (second edition)
by Professor Michael Sipser.
The book is available in Union Store and
the latest errata can be found at
Homeworks (TEN homeworks, each counts for three percent of final score)
LATE-DUE HOMEWORK ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
In general you will be better off turning in what you have on time
rather than seeking extra time to complete your work. There will be no
make-up exams in general and exceptions will be rare and only for
students whose reasons are included in the University's policy on
"Excused Absences from Examinations".
- Homework 1 (30 points) Due date: 9/8/10
Page 83-86: 1.4(a),(c),(e)-(g); 1.5(c)-(f); 1.6 (e)-(i); 1.13; 1.16.
- Homework 2 (30 points) Due date: 9/15/10
Page 86-90: 1.28; 1.29(b); 1.31; 1.33; 1.35; 1.41; 1.46 (a)(d); 1.49.
- Homework 3 (30 points) Due date: 9/22/10
Page 128-129: 2.6 (b)(d); 2.13; 2.14; 2.15; 2.16.
- Homework 4 (30 points) Due date: 9/29/10
Page 130-131: 2.24; 2.25; 2.30d); 2.31; 2.35.
- Homework 5 (30 points) Due date: 10/06/10
Page 160: 3.6; 3.8(b),(c). For 3.8, please provide a high level description and then
the detailed implementation of each high level description.
- Homework 6 (30 points) Due date: 10/27/10
Page 161: 3.15(b)-(e)
Page 183: 4.4, 4.7, 4.10, 4.12, 4.19.
- Homework 7 (30 points) Due date: 11/03/10
Page 211-212: 5.9, 5.12, 5.14, 5.15, 5.30(b)(c).
- Homework 8 (30 points) Due date: 11/15/10
Page 211-212: 5.4, 5.21, 5.23, 5.32(a).
- Homework 9 (30 points) Due date: 11/29/10
Page 294-296: 7.6, 7.9, 7.10, 7.11, 7.12, 7.17.
- Homework 10 (30 points) Due date: 12/08/10
Page 296-298: 7.20, 7.21, 7.24, 7.28, 7.34;
Exams (One midterm and one final exam)
Midterm on Oct 13, 1:05PM (30 percent of final score)
A sample exam problems can be found here
Final exam on Dec 17, 9:45-11:45AM (35 percent of final score)
For the policies on ACADEMIC DISHONESTY and PROCEDURE FOR COMPLAINT,
see the Student Academic Handbook,
of the Colleage of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The instructor of this course will follow the policies outlined at
for ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABILITIES, UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT,
REACTING SAFELY TO SEVERE WEATHER.
Class Participation (5 percent of final score)
You are expected to study all the material in each chapter covered
in the class even if that material is not explicitly discussed in
class or in the homework.
The lecture notes are a supplement to the course textbooks. They
are supposed to help you understand the textbook material better,
they are a replacement for neither the textbook nor the lecture
Please only print the lecture notes on the day of the class
as it's updating.
2 Automata and Regular Languages
3 Context-free Languages
4 Turing Machines
7 Time Complexity
8 NP complete problems
9 Space complexity