University of Texas at Austin, Department of Computer Sciences

COURSE DESCRIPTION (August 24, 2011)

Time/Location/Unique#. MW 3:30-5 in WEL 2.256. Course unique number: 52565.

Professor. Vijaya Ramachandran (vlr"at"cs), ACES 3.432, 471-9554.
Office Hours. Mondays 5-6 and Wednesdays 11-noon.

Teaching Assistant. Nevzat Onur Domanic (onur"at"cs).
TA Office Hours. Tuesdays 1-2 and Thursdays 2-3 in PAI 5.33 Desk 2.

Textbook and Course Material.

Prerequisites. Graduate standing, and an undergraduate theory algorithms course such as CS357.

COURSE OUTLINE. This is a graduate diversity course in a theory thread, and will cover selected topics in the design and analysis of algorithms as follows.  

Introduction; amortized analysis; Fibonacci heap 2 Lectures
Randomized algorithms, tail bounds; Quicksort and Selection; minimum spanning tree 4 Lectures
Data structures: inverse-Ackermann analysis of disjoint sets, splay tree, universal hashing 5 Lectures
Online algorithms; cache-efficient and cache-oblivious algorithms 3 Lectures
Maximum flow and maximum matching 4 Lectures
NP-completeness and approximation algorithms 4 Lectures
Project presentations Last week of classes

There will be no programming component to the course.

Course Work. The course-work will consist of the following:

Grading. The course grade will be based on the following.

Blackboard. Course material will be posted on Blackboard, which is accessible through UTDirect. Any important messages for the class will be sent through Blackboard, so please monitor messages sent to your UT email address.

A discussion board will be set up on Blackboard, and students are encouraged to post queries about class material there. Feel free to post comments and responses to queries, and note that useful participation on the discussion board will contribute towards your class participation score. This discussion board will also be monitored by the instructor and TA.

Please reserve your email messages to the instructor and TA for matters that concern only you. For queries relating to class material, please come to the office hours, or post to the discussion board so that everyone can benefit from the query and the responses.

Class Participation. The class participation grade will be based on class attendance, contributions to discussions, comments on class notes, and attendance of project presentations. Be sure to sign the class attendance sheet for each class.

Tests. The two tests are open book with respect to the class notes, handouts, and personal notes. No other material is allowed, including the text-book. At least half of each test will be based closely on material covered in class and in the homework problems.

Mini-tests. The mini-tests are closed-book. Each mini-test will primarily cover course material to date that was not included in the previous tests and mini-tests. The mini-tests will be based closely on material covered in class.

Project. The project will involve the study of a substantial theoretical algorithms paper. You will need to prepare a write-up on the contributions of the paper and avenues for further research; it should include an up-to-date literature survey. You will give a project presentation at the end of the semester. Following each project presentation there will be a personal interview; these will be mainly scheduled during the last week of classes.

Important Dates. The Course Schedule lists these and other relevant dates for the course.

Grading Queries. Any questions on grading should be brought to the attention of the TA or the instructor no later than a week after the graded material is handed out in class.

Students with Disabilities. Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259, http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd

Accommodations for Religious Holidays. If you must miss a class or an examination in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time before or after the absence. By UT Austin policy, you must notify the instructor of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day.

Statement on Scholastic Dishonesty. Anyone who violates the rules on the homeworks or who cheats in the tests or mini-tests is in danger of receiving an F for the course. Additional penalties may be levied by the Computer Sciences department and the University. See UTCS Rules to Live By (http://www.cs.utexas.edu/undergraduate-program/code-conduct).

Course URL. http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~vlr/courses/f11.388g/index.html
Course Schedule. http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~vlr/courses/f11.388g/sched.html