CS388G: Algorithms: Techniques & Theory (#51820), Fall 2018 

The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Computer Science
August 30, 2018   


Time and Place. TTh 2-3:30, GDC 5.302

Professor. Vijaya Ramachandran (vlr"at"cs), GDC 4.430, 471-9554.
Office Hours. TTh 10 - 11. 

TA. Udit Agarwal (udit”at”cs)
Office Hour. M 10:30-11:30, GDC 4.416

Textbook and Course Material. 


This is a graduate diversity course in a theory thread. We will cover the following topics in the design and analysis of algorithms. All algorithms will be analyzed to obtain provable bounds.  There is no programming component to the course.  Here is a course outline. 


P and NP; NP-completeness reductions; approximation algorithms

2 weeks

Data structures and efficient algorithms:

Amortized analysis, Fibonacci heap; splay tree; union find; minimum spanning tree; shortest paths

2-3 weeks 

Maximum flow and maximum matching:

Ford-Fulkerson; Edmond-Karp; Push-Relabel; Edmond's blossom shrinking algorithm

2 weeks 

Randomized algorithms: 

Tail bounds; randomized selection; randomized graph algorithms; universal hashing

2 weeks

Selected Short Topics:  Fine-grained complexity; dynamic algorithms; online algorithms and paging; cache-oblivious algorithms; parallel and distributed algorithms 

2 weeks


Canvas and Piazza. Course material will be posted on Canvas. There will be a discussion forum on Piazza.

Course Grade. The course grade will include plus and minus grades, and will be based on the following: 

Further Information on the 2 Tests.  The total of 43 points will be  distributed over the two tests as follows. 

Dates for the 2 Tests.    

Quiz. The quiz will be held during class on Thursday, December 6.

Class Presentations. We will have project presentations during class meetings in the last two weeks of classes. 

An extra class on the evening of December 3 may be scheduled if needed to accommodate all talks (see above). 

Class Participation. This will be based on questions and comments in class and during project presentations, comments posted on the discussion board, and interactions during office hours. 

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 returned to the 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 

If you require any assistance or accommodations from me, please let me know by September 14. 

Accommodations for Religious Holidays. 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. 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, provided proper notification is given. 

If you intend to make use of such accommodations, please let me know by September 14. 

Statement on Scholastic Dishonesty. Anyone who violates the rules for 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. See http://www.cs.utexas.edu/academics/conduct/