Data Structures are the paramount concern of this course. The principle objective of the course is to help you learn how to design and analyze a wide range of data structures.
The course covers data structures and associated algorithms. Relationships among data structures, their utility in various situations, and factors effecting their performance in algorithms will be considered. You will learn to analyze the demands of algorithms, how to choose appropriate data structures, and how to integrate data structures into algorithms.
Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Java 2nd (or 3rd) Edition, by Mark Alan Weiss, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-321-37013-9 (or 0132576279). The slides used in the course are based upon the 2nd Edition.
Your favorite Java reference book — here are some of ours:
- Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition by David Flanagan, O'Reilly, 2005, ISBN 0-596-00773-6
- Thinking in Java, edition by Bruce Eckel, Prentice-Hall PTR, 2006, ISBN 0-131-87248-6. Available online at http://www.codeguru.com/java/tij/tij_c.shtml.
- Head First Java, Second Edition by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, O'Reilly, 2005, ISBN 0-596-00920-8
- Data structures and algorithms with objectoriented design patterns in Java by Bruno Preiss, Wiley, 1999.
- Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis by Clifford Shaffer, Prentice-Hall, 1996. This book has good coverage of data structures and algorithm analysis in C++. It has excellent descriptions of a number of data structures.
- Data Structures, Algorithms, and Applications in Java by Sartaj Sahni, McGraw-Hill, 1998.
- Data Structures and Algorithms by Alfred Aho, John Hopcroft, and Jeffrey Ullman, Addison-Wesley, 1983. This is one of the all-time classics, written in Pascal.
- Fundamentals of Data Structures in C++ by Ellis Horowitz, Sartaj Sahni, and Dinesh Mehta, 2006. Update of another classic.
- Abstract Data Types by Nell Dale and Henry Walker, D.C. Heath and Company, 1996. A high-level view of data structures and algorithms, with no programming language specified. A very worthwhile and modern text with an alternative viewpoint.
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 assume prior experience with Java (CMSC 202). A short review of important Java concepts and techniques will be provided. We do cover a few of the concepts from CMSC 202, but from a deeper point of view. If you are not familiar with Java, please seek help from Computer Science Help Center or TA.
Your grade for this course will be based on the five programming projects (40%), the three homework assignments (10%), two in-class exams (15% each) and the final exam (20%). The three exams are non-cumulative.
Your semester average will be calculated according to the following formula:
Semester Average = 10 * ((sum of your points on all HW) / (total possible points on all HW)) + 40 * ((sum of your points on all projects ) / (total possible points on all projects)) + 50 * ((sum of your points on all exams ) / (total possible points on all exams))
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.
Credit will be given for timely work done during the semester; incomplete grades will only be given for medical illness or other such dire circumstances, and upon request.
Note that the due dates for the projects and the dates of the exams are already set (q.v., the syllabus and project policy page). Please plan your schedules accordingly. Makeup exams will be given only under the most dire circumstances (almost never).
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. We expect each student to contribute to class discussions and raise questions about the course material.
Contacting your instructor or the TAs
Please feel free to visit your instructor 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:
- Do not email program code. If you want your instructor or the TA to help you debug your code, submit the code in the usual way, and then send email about the problem. We will look at the submitted code. Please, do NOT mail code to your instructor or to the TA!
- Please use your your UMBC account to send email. This will remove any ambiguity about who you are. We may not bother to read email sent from some other account, e.g. your hotmail or aol accounts.
- Include a meaningful subject line, something like “CMSC 341 Project 2 question.”
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 Academic Conduct 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.
Course Web Page
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.