9:30-10:45 TTh Room 71 SH (Schaeffer Hall)
Sriram V. Pemmaraju
101G MLH, email@example.com, 319-353-2956
Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 M, 10:30-11:30 W, 2:00-3:00 F (and by appointment)
Course website: http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~sriram/5350/spring16/
Department website: http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/
Algorithms are "recipes" for solving computational problems and have been around at least since 300 BCE when Euclid described an algorithm for computing the greatest common divisor of a given pair of numbers. Now "algorithmic thinking" is viewed as the greatest contribution of the field of computer science to everyday life. Algorithms are used wherever computers are; search engines, weather prediction, drug design, financial markets, supply-chain management and even "JEOPARDY!" are just a few examples from among many.
This course is on the design and analysis of algorithms (as indicated by the title!) and the difficulty (tractability) of problems from an algorithmic point of view. In this course, we will practice the precise statement of various computational problems, study different algorithmic strategies to solve them -- either exactly or with some controlled error, learn to state algorithms precisely, reason about their correctness, evaluate these algorithms from the point of view of efficiency (usually running time) and accuracy, and develop a feel for the difficulty of problems and the applicability of various techniques we will learn. The increasing need to process enormous volumes of data has led to the development of algorithms in alternate computational models (e.g., models that explicitly recognize the fact that all the input data may not fit into main memory). We will understand the basic features of some of these models and design algorithms within these models for some simple problems.
We will organize the course in terms of the following topics:
I will assume a good understanding of material found in typical undergraduate courses on algorithms, data structures, and discrete math. Specifically, I will expect that:
There is no required textbook for the course. However, much of the material will come from Professor Jeff Erikson's notes and this will serve as an "informal" textbook for the course. A smaller fraction of the material will come from the textbook Algorithm Design by Jon Kleinberg and Eva Tardos, (ISBN-13: 978-0321295354, ISBN-10: 0321295358). You are not required to buy this book and I will post lecture notes for any material that is not in Jeff Erickson's notes.
The TA for the course is James Hegeman, a 5th year computer science PhD student, whose area of research is distributed algorithms. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about his office hours will be posted on the course website.
Plus/Minus grading will be used for the course. There are two components of evaluation that will collectively determine your grade.
Solutions to programming problems will have to submitted via ICON's dropbox feature. Grades will also be published on ICON. Homeworks, exams and solutions to these will be regularly posted on the course page (http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~sriram/5350/spring16/) and all together these will form a significant study resource for students.
Tardiness and Absences Late submissions will not be accepted and make-up exams should not be expected. To get credit for assignments you should plan on turning in what you have on time. Having said this, it is also worth noting that this course will follow the University and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) policies that require that students be allowed to make up missed examinations and assignments due to illness, certain University activities, circumstances beyond a student's control (such as a death in the family), or mandatory religious obligations. See http://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/attendance-absences for more details on this policy. Attendance will not be marked, however there is a strong correlation between attendance and performance in the course. For most students, to be successful in this course will require consistent attendance.
The key to completing homeworks on time is starting early and asking questions. The professor and the TA will be glad to help with any questions you may have on homeworks, either by e-mail or in person. So please feel free to visit us often during our office hours and if necessary, outside our office hours as well by making an appointment.
Communicating with Instructors and TAs Asking the instructors and TA questions via e-mail is quite appropriate and any e-mails related to CS:5350 will be answered within 24 hours of e-mail receipt. You should make sure to include CS:5350 in the subject line to ensure that your e-mail is not consumed by spam filters. Try to state your question(s) as clearly as possible. The more easily understood you are, the more likely it is that you will receive a quick response. Occasionally the professor or the TA may send e-mail announcement to all students in the class at your uiowa e-mail address. Note that you are responsible for all official correspondence sent to the uiowa address and so make sure that you check this e-mail account regularly. The instructor and TAs would also prefer receiving e-mails from your uiowa account, rather than from commercial e-mail providers (e.g., gmail or yahoo!).
Effort Level According to University guidelines, a student should expect to work for 2 hours per week (outside the classroom) for each course credit. This is a 3 credit course and so you should expect to spend on average about 6 hours per week studying lecture notes and the textbook, solving homeworks, preparing for exams, etc. However, the "6 hours per week" estimate is an average and also presupposes that you attend classes regularly, pay attention in class, visit the professor and the TA with your questions during their office hours, etc.
This course is run by the Computer Science department which is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This means that class policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found online at https://provost.uiowa.edu/files/provost.uiowa.edu/files/crossenroll.pdf.
Students with disabilities
We would like to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require seating modifications or testing accommodations or accommodations of other class requirements, so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact the instructor by e-mail or in person during office hours. For more information visit the website of Student Disability Services at http://sds.studentlife.uiowa.edu/.
The components of evaluation for this course (quizzes, homeworks, projects, and exams) are meant to test your individual mastery of the material. Hence none of these are collaborative and under no circumstances should you pass off the work of someone else as your own. Doing so would constitute academic dishonesty. This also applies to code or other material that you might find on the internet. Providing answers to another student also constitutes academic dishonesty. Note that we will routinely use available software systems for detecting software plagiarism, to test any suspicions we might have.
We do want students to talk to each other about concepts and ideas that relate to the class. We believe that this type of peer-interaction can be quite helpful to students. However, this interaction needs to happen without actual exchange of written answers (e.g., code or pseudocode snippets) to homeworks. Of course, students are welcome (in fact, encouraged) to study together for exams.
If you are unclear about what constitutes academic dishonesty contact the instructor or consult the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty at http://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/academic-fraud-honor-code.
If you have any complaints or concerns about how the course is being conducted please feel free to talk to the professor. You are also welcome to get in touch with Prof. Alberto Segre, the Computer Science department chair (email@example.com, 319-335-1713, 14D MacLean Hall). Consult the CLAS statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities at http://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/student-rights-responsibilities for more information.
Showing up to class late, leaving your cell phone ringer on, reading a newspaper in class, chatting with your friends, burying your head in laptop, etc., can be quite distracting to the professor and to fellow students. If you are in class, it is your responsibility to pay attention and to make sure that you are not doing anything that makes it harder for fellow-students to pay attention. When disruptive activity occurs, a University instructor has the authority to determine classroom seating patterns and to request that a student exit immediately for the remainder of the period. One-day suspensions are reported to appropriate departmental, collegiate, and Student Services personnel (Office of the Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students). For more information consult the CLAS statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities at http://clas.uiowa.edu/students/handbook/student-rights-responsibilities.
University Statement on Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately. See the UI policy on sexual harassment at http://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/community-policies/sexual-harassment for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy. Also see http://www.sexualharassment.uiowa.edu/ for additional resources.
Reacting Safely to Severe Weather
In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if necessary. The class will continue if possible when the event is over. For more information on Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit http://hawkalert.uiowa.edu/.