CS357H: ALGORITHMS, Spring 2012

Dept of Computer Science, UT-Austin



Time/Location/Unique number. MW 3:30-5, WEL 2.256. Course unique number: #53045

Prerequisites. The following, with a grade of at least C- in each course: Computer Science 310, 310H, 429, or 429H; 336 or 336H; 337 or 337H; Mathematics 408D, 408M, or 427L; and consent of the honors director.

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

Teaching Assistant. Nevzat Onur Domanic (onur"at"cs).
TA Office Hours. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30 am and Thursdays noon-1 pm in PAI 5.33, Desk #6.

Textbook. T.H. Cormen, C.E. Leiserson, R.L. Rivest, C. Stein, Introduction to Algorithms, Third Edition, MIT Press, 2009.

COURSE OUTLINE. This course will cover the theoretical aspects of algorithm design and analysis. We will study general techniques for algorithm design such as divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming and greedy, as well as randomized algorithms and amortized analysis of data structures, and we will study the correctness and efficiency of important data structures and algorithms, with special emphasis on graph algorithms. We will also have a brief introduction to the theory of NP-completeness, and we will study the design of approximation algorithms for NP-hard problems. There will be no programming project.


Introduction; divide and conquer; recurrences, summations 1.5 weeks
Dynamic programming; shortest paths in graphs 2 weeks
Greedy; minimum spanning tree; Dijkstra's SSSP 2 weeks
Data structures: Amortized analysis; disjoint sets 1.5 weeks
Randomized algorithms: universal hashing; randomized selection and Quicksort 2 weeks
Maximum flow and maximum matching; introduction to linear programming 1.5 weeks
NP-completeness and approximation algorithms 2 weeks

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

Key Dates. (Note the extended time for the two tests.)

Please make a note of these dates -- there will be no make-up mini-test, test or exam. These dates and the dates for the problem sets are also listed on the course schedule webpage.

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

Piazza. All class-related discussion will be conducted on Piazza (https://piazza.com/utexas/spring2012/cs357h), and students are encouraged to post comments and queries about class material there.

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

Tests and Final Exam. You can consult the textbook, the class notes posted on Blackboard, your graded material, and your personal notes. You are not allowed to bring any other material to the tests and final exam.

The first test will be on all material covered until the date of the test, and the second test will be on all material until the date of the test, and not covered for the first test. The final exam is cumulative, and will cover the entire semester's material.

At least half of each in-class test and the final exam will be based closely on material covered in class and in the problem sets.

Mini-tests. The mini-tests are closed-book, and will examine your understanding of the material covered in class.

Collaboration on Problem Sets. Students may discuss the problem sets with one another, but solutions must be written up separately . Each problem should be accompanied by a statement that lists the individuals with whom the problem was discussed. If a key idea was obtained from another book or paper (other than the course textbook), then the source of that idea should be cited, and then should be written in your own words. If no outside source was consulted, then a statement to this effect should be made. Note that there is no penalty for discussing with others; you are, in fact, encouraged to do so. But be sure to acknowledge these discussions in your write-up, and also do not copy solutions from others.

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 problem sets or who cheats in the in-class tests or final exam is in danger of receiving an F for the course. Additional penalties may be levied by the Computer Sciences department and the University.

The departmental code of conduct posted at http://www.cs.utexas.edu/academics/conduct/ will apply unless superseded by the rules stated for this course in this course description.

Daily Course Schedule. A daily course schedule can be found at http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~vlr/courses/s12.357h/sched.html