UMBC CMSC 641, Design & Analysis of Algorithms, Spring 2004
Introduction to Algorithms, second edition,
Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein. McGraw-Hill.
An undergraduate course on algorithms is a prerequisite for this class.
At UMBC, the undergraduate algorithms course (CMSC 441) uses the same
textbook and typically covers Chapters 1-4 & Appendix A (Big-O
notation, recurrences and summations), Chapters 6-9 (Heapsort,
Quicksort, "linear-time" sorts and linear-time median algorithms),
Chapter 15 (dynamic programming), Chapter 16 (greedy algorithms) and
Chapters 22-25 (graph search algorithms, minimum spanning trees and
shortest path algorithms). In addition hash tables and balanced binary
trees are covered in CMSC 341 Data Structures.
There will be minimal overlap in the material covered in the CMSC 441
and CMSC 641. If your are not familiar with some of these topics, you
must have enough preparation to review the material on your own. Note
that the syllabus for the Ph.D. comprehensive exam contains topics
that are covered more thoroughly in the undergraduate algorithms course
(e.g., solving recurrences, dynamic programming).
The objective of this course is to prepare you to learn new algorithms
--- either from the literature or by designing your own new algorithms.
Thus, the course will have you: 1) master advanced algorithm analysis
techniques, 2) practice designing "new" algorithms, 3) accumulate the
background knowledge needed to read and understand algorithms published
in research journals, and 4) develop the writing skills for clear and
logical presentation of algorithms.
Your performance in this course will be based upon 12 homework
assignments, 6 quizzes and one final exam. Each homework assignment is
worth 3% of your grade, each quiz 6% and the final exam 28%. If a
homework assignment or quiz is canceled and not made up (e.g., because
school is closed for snow), the proportion of your grade from
homework, quizzes and the final exam will remain the same. That is,
homework will still count for 36% of your grade and quizzes 36%
of your grade (each homework or quiz will have greater weight).
Quizzes will take place in the classroom during the last 30 minutes of
the class period. Each quiz will have a single question on a
pre-announced topic. As a rule, questions on the quizzes (and on the
final exam) will be easier than the homework questions since you are
expected to complete the questions in a limited time frame.
You are encouraged to discuss the homework problems with your
classmates. However, you must write up your solutions on your own ---
i.e., without looking at other people's homework, other people's notes,
your notes of other people's homework, your notes of other people's
In general, homework must be submitted when they are due. This allows
for timely discussion of the solutions and for the graded assignments
to be returned before the quizzes. If you have an excusable absence
(e.g., travel for work, conference attendance, medical illness), please
make arrangements with the instructor as early as possible.
Questions about homework and lectures may be submitted by email.
Please note that unless you request otherwise, the contents of your
email message may be forwarded to the entire class --- especially if
the question is a good question.
26 Jan 2004 17:09:21 EST
to Spring 2004 CMSC 641 Homepage