CMSC 341 Data Structures Spring 2009

Section 0301 (Tue/Thu 5:30-6:45PM ACIV015)

Mr. Mitch Edelman

Office: ITE 218

Office hours: Tue/Thu 7:15 - 8:15 and by appointment

Some Dates to Remember

The last day to add a class is February 6.
The last day to drop a class is February 23.
Please make sure that you attend to adding or dropping classes by those dates.

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.

In addition to these topics, you will be responsible for learning how to prove theorems by induction,


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.


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. Even a poorly done project is much better than no project because:

Each programming project is 8% of your grade, each exam is 20% of your grade. Exams are not cumulative, in that they will stress the materials not yet covered by an exam.

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 and project extensions will be given only in event of an emergency. An "emergency" is defined as "an unanticipated event requiring immediate attention". For example, having 3 projects due on the same day is not an emergency, since you (should) know that this convergence is occurring. A reunion concert of the Grateful Dead, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, emceed by Heath Ledger and River Phoenix may be completely unexpected, but it doesn't require you to miss a due date, so it isn't an emergency, either.

I am very anal about these kinds of things, so if you ask for an extension, your reason really better be good.

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 circumstances that rendered you incapable of completing classwork. Any requests for incompletes must be accompanied by the reason for the reauest and some proof of its having rendered you incapable. IOW, please arrange to have your life work this semester.

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 may not be covered in lectures. A prime learning requirement is that you contribute to class discussions and raise questions about the course material.
In most cases, the power point slides and readings I use in lecture are available in advance on the course web site. I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with these materials before the lecture. It would be especially helpful for you to print them before lecture and take your notes on them. That way, you won't spend a lot of time copying notes that you already have, and you will be able to listen to and interact with the lectures, which will help you learn the materials more thoroughly.

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 Tue Jan 27 Introduction and Java MAW 1
Thu Jan 29 Java and OOP MAW 1; tutorial

Fri Jan 30
Project 1 Assigned

Tue Feb 3 Java and OOP MAW 1; tutorial
4 Thu Feb 5 Asymptotic Analysis MAW 2
5 Tue Feb 10 Asymptotic Analysis MAW 2
6 Thu Feb 12 List ADT and Implementations MAW 3

Fri Feb 13
Project 1 Due

7 Tue Feb 17 Stacks and Queues MAW 3
8 Thu Feb 19
Exam 1
Classes 1 - 7

Fri Feb 20
Project 2 Assigned

9 Tue Feb 24 Introduction to Trees MAW 4.1 & 4.2
Thu Feb 26 Binary Search Trees MAW 4.3
Tue Mar 3 Binary Search Trees MAW 4.3
14 Thu Mar 5 Splay Trees MAW 4.5-6, 11.5

Fri March 6
Project 2 Due

15 Tue Mar 10 K-D Trees MAW 12.6
16 Thu Mar 12 Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes

Fri Mar 13
Project 3 Assigned

Tue Mar 17
Spring Break

Thu Mar 19
Spring Break

17 Tue Mar 24 Red-Black Trees MAW 12.2 + notes
18 Thu Mar 26 B-Trees MAW 4.7

Fri Mar 27
Project 3 Due

19 Tue Mar 31 B-Trees MAW 4.7
20 Thu Apr 2 Hashing MAW 5
21 Tue Apr 7
Exam 2
Classes 9 - 19
22 Thu Apr 9 Hashing MAW 5

Fri Apr 10
Project 4 Assigned

23 Tue Apr 14 Priority Queues and Heaps MAW 6
24 Thu Apr 16 Priority Queues and Heaps MAW 6
25 Tue Apr 21 Skip Lists MAW 10.4.2 + notes
26 Thu Apr 23 Disjoint Sets MAW 8

Fri Apr 24
Project 4 Due

27 Tue Apr 28 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes

Wed Apr 29
Project 5 Assigned

28 Thu Apr 30 Graphs MAW 9.1, 9.3 + notes
29 Tue May 5 Special Topics
29 Thu May 7 Special Topics
29 Tue May 12 Review

Wed May 13
Project 5 Due

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 Tuesday Jan 20, 2009 by Ryan Bergeron

email: rberge1 AT
Back up to Spring 2009 CMSC-341 Homepage