CS447/CS647/EE667 Computer Algorithms (Fall 2002)

Course Prerequisites: CS344 Algorithms and Data Structures and (MA211 Foundations or MA346 Applied Algebra and Discrete Mathematics)


Course Contact Information

Instructor: Christino Tamon
Lectures: Monday Wednesday Friday 11am Science Center 344
Office hours: Monday Wednesday 9-11am and Friday 10-11am Science Center 373
Contact: Science Center 373, tino@clarkson.edu

The main text is Introduction to Algorithms (second edition) by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein, MIT Press, 2001.
A recommended supplement is Data Structures and Algorithms in Java (second edition) by Michael T. Goodrich and Roberto Tamassia, John Wiley, 2001.

Topical Outline

This course studies the algorithmic techniques for solving computational problems efficiently. In particular, the following techniques are covered: basic divide-conquer techniques and analysis using recurrences, dynamic programming, greedy methods, and amortized analysis. Some emphasis will be put on graph-theoretic problems and data structures that are relevant to them. Finally, a discussion of the theory of NP-completeness on the limitations of solving problems efficiently will end the course.

Objectives and outcomes

The objective of this course is to learn fundamental algorithmic techniques, to gain the ability to evaluate the efficiency of algorithms, and to understand certain intractability issues concerning hard algorithmic questions.

The specific outcomes are basic knowledge of the following:


Requirements and Policies

Although attendance is not mandatory, students are responsible for all course materials covered in lectures and any quizzes given during class periods. Students that need to make up missing course work must provide the required Clarkson official exempt form. All students must submit their own work; the exchange of ideas are encouraged but ultimately the submitted work must be the student's own. Please refer to the Clarkson University Regulations for more guidelines on academic integrity and related matters.

Grading Scheme

There is no final exam in this course (pending approval).

Tentative Course Schedule

  1. (Chapters 1,2) Basic divide-conquer and recurrence analysis for MIN-MAX problem. Lower bounds for comparison-based algorithms (MIN, SORTING, and MIN-MAX).
  2. (Chapter 3) Asymptotic growth of functions: big-Oh, big-Omega, little-oh, little-omega, and big Theta. Summations (Appendix A): arithmetic, geometric, Harmonic, bounding by integrals, splitting techniques, telescoping sums.
  3. (Chapter 4) Recurrences: substitution method, recursion tree method, the Master Theorem.
  4. (Chapter 15) Dynamic Programming: assembly line scheduling, longest common subsequence, matrix chain multiplication. Small digression: the use of generating functions (Catalan numbers expresses the combinatorics of counting fully parenthesized expression, full binary trees with certain number of leaves, and polygon triangulations).
  5. (Chapter 16) Greedy algorithms: activity selection problem, fractional knapsack. Minimum spanning tree.
  6. (Chapter 17) Amortized analysis.
  7. (Chapters 22, 23, 35) Graph algorithms: BFS & DFS, topological sorting, strongly connected components. Approximation algorithms for hard graph theoretic problems: vertex cover, TSP.
  8. (Chapter 34) NP-Completeness.