CMSC 341 Data Structures Spring 2008

Section 0301 (TuTh 5:30 - 6:45 PM, ACIV015)

Mr. Mitch Edelman

Office: ITE 218

Office hours: TuTh 7:00 - 8:00 PM and by appt.


From time to time, I will post notes of special importance, such as class cancellations, in this space. Please check here frequently. Newest announcements will appear at the top of this list

Course Description

course content

We will cover the design and implementation of a number of "classical" data structures - lists, stacks, queues, trees, sets, and graphs, to name a few.

We will also cover techniques for analyzing the performance of our implementations of these data structures, using a technique known as "algorithm analysis".

course objectives

You will learn how to select an appropriate data structure and implementation based on the problem you are solving.

You will learn some Java - as will the instructor. As we are still in transition, with some of you having had CMSC 202 while it was being taught in C++, we will devote some time to Java essentials.

you will learn how to analyze the performance of code, both in terms of their running time and space requirements.

You will have ample opportunities (in the form of quizzes and coding projects) to practice these skills.


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.


Your grade for this course will be based on 5 programming projects, 2 in-class exams and the final exam. 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). Projects are due on or before the published due date, and they will not be accepted after that time. Please plan your schedules accordingly. Note that it's much better for you to turn in a partially-completed project than not to turn anything in. Makeup exams are generally not given. If your work schedule precludes your taking an exam, please notify me in advance. 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. Similarly, you are responsible for all assigned reading, even if it is not discussed in lecture. You should keep up with the assigned readings during the semester. Some reading material will be distributed through the course web page.
You must keep up with the work to do well in this course. If the only coding you do is just the projects, and all your studying is just before the exam, you can reasonably expect a "c". If you want to earn a better grade, you will need to do more than just 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.

Lab Access and Policies

During TA Lab Office Hours, students enrolled in CSMC 341 will be able to use computers in the CSEE Systems Lab (ITE 240) for their project work. The lab contains 24 high-end Pentium machines with 1 GB RAM, dual-processor Pentium 4 CPUs and a CD-RW drive. Working there, during those times, will give students almost instant access to TA assistance as they work on projects. Students using the lab must observe all the rules below:
Failure to observe all the lab rules will result in suspending your lab access, as well as further disciplinary actions as determined by Departmental and University policy.

As lab time and resources are limited, you should plan to use them to your best advantage. I suggest that your best use of the lab is to obtain assistance from the TA on some problems you have, rather than to experiment with code design (or any other such activity that can be done effectively in one of the regular labs, without the TA's presence). Lab time and space are limited resources. Please use them when you must, but please try to use them only when you must.

Class Schedule

1 Tue Jan 29 Introduction and Java MAW 1

Wed Jan 30
Project 1 Assigned

Thu Jan 31 Java and OOP MAW 1; tutorial
Tu Feb 5 Java and OOP MAW 1; tutorial
4 Thu Feb 7 Asymptotic Analysis MAW 2
5 Tu Feb 12 Asymptotic Analysis MAW 2
6 Th Feb 14 List ADT and Implementations MAW 3

Fri Feb 15
Project 1 Due

7 Tu Feb 19 Stacks and Queues MAW 3
8 Th Feb 21
Exam 1
Classes 1 - 7

Mon Feb 25
Project 2 Assigned
9 Tu Feb 26 Basic UI layout in Java Handouts
10 Th Feb 28 Basic Event Handling in Java Handouts
11 Tu Mar 4 Introduction to Trees MAW 4.1 & 4.2
Th Mar 6 Binary Search Trees MAW 4.3
Tue Mar 11 Binary Search Trees MAW 4.3
14 Th Mar 13 Splay Trees MAW 4.5-6, 11.5

Fri March 14
Project 2 Due

Week of March 17
Spring Break

Mon Mar 24
Project 3 Assigned
15 Tu Mar 25 K-D Trees MAW 12.6
16 Th Mar 27 Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes
17 Tu Apr 1
(no foolin' - it's April!)
Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes
18 Thu Apr 3 B-Trees MAW 4.7
19 Tu Apr 8 B-Trees MAW 4.7
20 Thu Apr 10 Hashing MAW 5

Fri Apr 11
Project 3 Due

21 Tu Apr 15
(A taxing day for us all)
Exam 2
Classes 9 - 19

Wed Apr 16
Project 4 Assigned

22 Th Apr 17 Hashing MAW 5
23 Tu Apr 22 Priority Queues and Heaps MAW 6
24 Th Apr 24 Priority Queues and Heaps MAW 6
25 Tu Apr 29 Skip Lists MAW 10.4.2 + notes

Wed Apr 30
Project 4 Due

Wed Apr 30
Project 5 Assigned

26 Th May 1
Mayday, Mayday!!
Disjoint Sets MAW 8
27 Tu May 6 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes
28 Th May 8 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes
29 Tu May 13 Graphs and Review

Tues May 13
Project 5 Due

Thu May 15
Final Exam
6:00 - 8:00
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. 
Last modified on January 27, 2008 by Mitch Edelman

email: edelman AT
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