CMSC 341 Data Structures fall 2008

Section 0101 (Tu/Th 5:30 - 6:45, ITE 231)

Mr. Mitch Edelman

Office: ITE 218

Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:00 - 8:00 PM or by appointment


Course Description

We will discuss a number of topics essential to your growth as a computer science student. Data Structures are the primary topic. You will learn to design and analyze core data structures and algorithms that use them.

You will also study the relationships among data structures, their utility in various situations, and factors affecting their performance. You will learn to analyze the time complexity of algorithms, and how to choose appropriate data structures and algorithms.


Required: Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Java, 2rd Edition, by Mark Alan Weiss, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-321-37013-9



We will assume that you have mastered the material from CMSC 201, CMSC 202, and CMSC 203. We will not review material that has been covered in the prerequisite courses. We do cover a few of the concepts from CMSC 202, but from a deeper point-of-view. We assume prior experience with Java, but will review Java briefly in the first few lectures and will have more intense reviews outside of class hours early in the semester for those who are a little rusty.


Your grade for this course will be based on 5 programming projects, 2 in-class exams and the final exam.

It is a very bad idea not to turn in all projects.

Each programming project is 8% of your grade, each exam is 20% of your grade.

Note that the due dates for the projects and the dates of the exams are already set (q.v., the syllabus and project policy handout). Please plan your schedules accordingly. Makeup exams will be given only under the most dire circumstances (almost never).

Your final letter grade is based on the standard formula:

0 <= F < 60, 60 <= D < 70, 70 <= C < 80, 80 <= B < 90, 90 <= A <= 100
These levels may be adjusted slightly in your favor, but grades will not be "curved" in the conventional sense.

Your grade is given for timely work done during the semester; incomplete grades will only be given for medical illness or other such dire circumstances.

Attendance and Readings

You are expected to attend all lectures. You are responsible for all material covered in the lecture, even if it is not in the textbook. You should keep up with the assigned readings during the semester. Some reading material will be distributed through the course web page. You are responsible for the material in the readings, even if it is not covered during lecture.

You must study to do well in this course. It will not be enough to attend lectures and do the homework. As advanced undergraduates, you will be responsible for learning material that is not necessarily covered in lectures. A prime learning requirement is that you contribute to class discussions and raise questions about the course material.

Contacting Me or the TAs

Please feel free to visit me or the TAs during our office hours. If you can't make it during the regular hours, please ask for an appointment. We will do everything we can to be available to provide help with this course. Office hours, phone numbers and other contact information is available on-line. If you need to contact any of the course staff outside of lecture and office hours, email is much better than the telephone. You should, however, observe the following etiquette:

Academic Integrity

Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. Instances of cheating will be reported to the UMBC Academic Conduct Committee. These reports are filed by the Committee and can be used for disciplinary action such as a permanent record on your transcript. Academic honesty is absolutely required of you. You are expected to be honest yourself and to report any cases of dishonesty you see among other students in this class. Reports of dishonest behavior will be kept anonymous.

Further details on honesty in doing projects for this course are on-line at the Project Policy link.

Students are welcome and encouraged to study together for exams, but examinations are to be your own work -- not your neighbor's and not your notes. All exams are closed-book, closed-notes. Only pencils (or pens) and erasers are permitted in the exam room unless otherwise indicated. Scratch paper is provided to you, as needed. Having any other materials in your possession during an exam will be taken as evidence of cheating and dealt with accordingly.

Class Schedule

1 Thu Aug 28 Introduction and Java MAW 1
Tue Sep 2 Java and OOP MAW 1; tutorial

Wed Sep 3
Project 1 Assigned

Thu Sep 4 Java and OOP MAW 1; tutorial
4 Tue Sep 9 Asymptotic Analysis MAW 2
5 Thu Sep 11 Asymptotic Analysis MAW 2
6 Tue Sep 16 List ADT and Implementations MAW 3

Wed Sep 17
Project 1 Due

7 Thu Sep 18 Stacks and Queues MAW 3
8 Tue Sep 23
Exam 1
Classes 1 - 7

Wed Sep 24
Project 2 Assigned

9 Thu Sep 25 Introduction to Trees MAW 4.1 & 4.2
Tue Sep 30 Binary Search Trees MAW 4.3
Thu Oct 2 Binary Search Trees MAW 4.3
12 Tue Oct 7 Splay Trees MAW 4.5-6, 11.5
13 Thu Oct 9 K-D Trees MAW 12.6

Sun Oct 12
Project 2 Due

14 Tue Oct 14 Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes

Wed Oct 15
Project 3 Assigned
15 Thu Oct 16 Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes
16 Tue Oct 21 Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes
17 Thu Oct 23 B-Trees MAW 4.7
18 Tue Oct 28 B-Trees MAW 4.7
19 Thu Oct 30 Hashing MAW 5

Thu Oct 30
Project 3 Due

20 Tue Nov 4
Exam 2
Classes 9 - 19

Wed Nov 5
Project 4 Assigned

21 Thu Nov 6 Hashing MAW 5
22 Tue Nov 11 Priority Queues and Heaps MAW 6
23 Thu Nov 13 Priority Queues and Heaps MAW 6
24 Tue Nov 18 Skip Lists MAW 10.4.2 + notes
25 Thu Nov 20 Disjoint Sets MAW 8

Fri Nov 21
Project 4 Due

Mon Nov 24
Project 5 Assigned

26 Tue Nov 25 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes
Thu Nov 27
Thanksgiving Break
27 Tue Dec 2 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes
28 Thu Dec 4 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes
29 Tue Dec 9 Review

Tues Dec 9
Project 5 Due

Final Exam
Classes 20 - 29

Course Web Page

A few handouts will be provided in paper form at the first class. After that, all handouts will be provided only on the web. The course web page URL is
Please check the web page frequently. Any changes to the page will be mentioned in the "Latest News" link. 

Back up to Fall 2008 CMSC-341 Homepage