This is a course in data structures and algorithms. See the
CS 503 course catalog
entry for more information.
For one thing, it is hard to claim that you know what you are doing
unless you can present your act as a deliberate choice out of a possible set
of things you could have done as well.
Edsger Dijkstra, Notes on Structured Programming
The prerequisites for this class are
CS 501B, Program
The course is divided into seven two-week sections. See the syllabus for details.
The class meets in
Howard Hall L512
on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. There are no classes
during Spring Break, 6 and 8 March. Monday, 26 March is the last day to
withdraw from class with a W on your transcript.
At the end of this course you should will
R. Clayton, firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours are from 5 to 6
p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in HH L512 (schedule).
The usual grade ranges are in effect:
- know some basic data structures and algorithms,
- be able to choose wisely among data structures and algorithms, and
- design and write code supporting data structures and algorithms well.
All grades are kept with one digit of precision to the right of the decimal
point and 0.05 rounded up. No grades are adjusted to a curve; that means, for
example, that 89.9 is always a B+, never an A-.
The final grade is the weighted sum of the quiz-grade average and the
assignment-grade average with the weights
The quiz- and assignment-grade averages are strait, unweighted averages.
There are seven quizzes, one quiz for each of the seven sections; see
the syllabus for the schedule. Quizzes are given in class, and are closed book
with no notes; calculators and computers will not be necessary. The quizzes
are cumulative, covering everything taught up to and including the class before
the quiz. Quizzes should take no more than an hour to complete, and are
given in the first hour of class. Quiz answers will be made available off
the syllabus. There are no mid-terms or finals.
There are seven programming assignments, one for each section. Each assignment
is two weeks long; see the syllabus for details.
The textbook is Mastering Algorithms with C by Kyle
Loudon, O'Reilly, 1999.
An annotated bibliography of other books of interest.
Feel free to send e-mail to email@example.com . Unless I warn you
beforehand, I'll usually respond within a couple of hours during the usual work
days; if I don't respond within a day, resend the message.
Mail relevant to the class are stored in a
archive. If your message is of general interest to the class, I'll store it,
suitably stripped of identification and along with my answer, in the archive.
If you're reading this on paper, you can find the class home page at
make the class notes, assignments, and quizzes available off the syllabus; you
should get in the habit of checking the home page and syllabus regularly.
People who need assistance or accommodations above and beyond what is usually
provided in class should contact the University's ADA/504 coordinator to get
those needs met. See me or the
Services page for more details.
I have no class attendance policy; you may attend class or not as you see fit.
However, I hold you responsible for knowing everything that goes on in class;
"I wasn't in class for that." is not an acceptable excuse for a wrong
answer, or for giving no answer at all.
My attendance policy applies only to lecture attendance; it does not apply to
other kinds of attendance which may be required for the course. Repeated
failures to meet the attendance expectations set for tests, meetings, projects,
labs or other forms of course work will have a bad influence on your grade.
I deal with suspected cheating by failing first and asking questions later.
Although cheating has many forms, I generally consider cheating to be any
attempt to claim someone else's work as your own; also, I consider both the
provider and the user of the work guilty of cheating. See the chapters on
Academic Information and the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook
for more details.
I recognize and encourage a student's sacred right to complain about their
grade. There are, however, a few rules under which such complaining should
take place, and those students who don't follow the rules will be less
successful in their complaints than those students who do follow the rules.
First, the only complaint that matters is that something got marked wrong when
it was actually right. When you come to complain, be prepared to present, in
explicit detail, what it is you did and why you think it's right.
Second, complaints about a particular test or assignment are only valid until
the next test or assignment is due; after that point the book is permanently
closed on all previous test or assignment grades.
Assignments must be turned in by their due date; assignments turned in after
their due date are late. You should contact me as soon as possible if you need
to negotiate a due-date extension. The longer you wait to negotiate, the less
likely it is you'll be successful; in particular, you have almost no chance of
getting an extension if you try for one the day before the due date, and you
have no chance of getting an extention on the due date.
A late assignment is penalized five points a day for each day it's late. I use
a 24-hour clock running from midnight to midnight to measure days; note this
means that an assignment handed in the day after it's due is penalized ten
points: five for the day it was due and five for the next day.
There may occasionally be a conflict between taking a test and doing something
else, particularly among those working full time. If you're going to be out of
town, or on jury duty, or whatever, on a test day, let me know beforehand and
we'll discuss a make-up test.
A make-up test must be scheduled to be taken by the date of the test following
the missed test (or the final exam if you miss the last test). If a missed
test is not made up by the time of the next test, you get a zero for the missed
There will be only one make up given per missed test. If more than one person
misses the same test, those people will have to coordinate among themselves to
pick a mutually agreeable date for the make up.
The previous time I taught this course.
The NIST dictionary of algorithms and data
FreeTechBooks' list of on-line
data structures and algorithm books.
Softpanorama's old but wide ranging
link page for
data structures and algorithms.
Algosort's link page to algorithm pages.
Even data structures blog.
This page last modified on 14 January 2007.