Computer Science 383
Theory of Computer Science
Fall 2017
Me:

Office Hours:

Overview
This is a course in the theory of computation, a field that is considerably older than computers and computer science itself. We will look at issues related to what can be algorithmically computed and what can be said about the compuational process, including time and space complexity. Although the models of computation we will use are quite concrete and easily programmed, our interest in them is primarily mathematical. We will write many proofs, just as you did in the Algorithms class, but the proofs in this class tend to be more constructive and less abstract.
Textbook:
Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation, 3rd edition by Hopcroft, Motwani, and Ullman; Pearson/AddisonWesley 2007. I am sorry this is expensive, but I think it is the clearest book available on the theory of computation.
Exams and Grading:
We will have 2 inclass exams during the semestezr and a comprehensive final exam. Here is how the grades for the course will be composed:
 Attendance and participation 5%
 Homework 40%
 Inclass exams 15% each
 Final exam 25%
Note that the final exam will be Wednesday, December 13 at 9AM. This time is set by the Registrar and I cannot change it for the class or for individuals. If you have issues with this time you should talk to the Dean of Studies immediately.
Homework
Most of your learning in the course will come from the homework. The homework assignments will take time  I would guess about 6 to 10 hours per week. You are welcome, and even encouraged, to form a study group to work on the homework. Mathematics is all about communication. The most important thing you can take from this course is the ability to formulate a convincing mathematical proof and that requires an audience to be convinced. So you can work out solutions to the problems in a group. However, you must write up your own statement of the solutions.
Your solutions shoould be submitted as a hard copy; I will not accept homework by email.. Many proofs in this class consist of diagrams, and those can be handdrawn as long as they are legible. Narrative proofs should be typed. I don't particularly care if you use TeX or MS Word, but I want printed, not handwritten text. There is a reason for requiring you to type solutions. We are all sloppy with handwritten copy; we cross things out, draw arrows to new text, and so forth. Mathematics requires precision and careful use of language. It is much easier to see if a proof is correct if it is typed.
At the top of your solutions say who you worked with on the assignment. If you worked with person X and your solution isn't quite clear, person X's solution might help us to understand yours. Somewhere, preferably at the end, include the Honor Pledge: "I have written these solutions myself; I have given them to no one else"
Late homework: You can hand in one assignment up to 2 days late without penalty. Other assignments can be handed in up to 2 days late but are docked 50%. Except in extreme circumstances (I would need to hear from your class dean) homework that is more than 2 days late will receive no credit. For the most part you are better off turning in an assignment that is incomplete than turning it in late.
The Honor Code
The Honor Code has a straightforward application to this class. On all of the exams you are responsible for your own work; you may neither give nor receive any information during the course of the exam. If someone takes an exam at a different time than the rest of the class there may be no communication concerning the exam between that person and anyone else in the class, not even whether the exam was easy or difficult. For the homewok you are welcome to talk to anyone you like but you must write your own solutions.
Course outline:
Week Day Topic Notes Week 1 Aug 28Sept 1
Introduction
Finite Automata; Regular Languages
Chapters 1,2 Week 2 Sept 68 Regular Expressions.
The equivalence of Regular Expressions and Finite Automata
Chapter 3 Week 3 Sept 1115 The Pumping Lemma
Determining whether a language is regular
Chapter 4 Week 4 Sept 1820 Propeties of Regular Languages
Chapter 4
No class on Friday Sept 22
Week 5 Sept 2529 ContextFree Grammars and Languages Chapter 5
Exam I: Reular Languages
Week 6 Oct 26 Pushdown Automata Chaptper 6 Week 7 Oct 913 ContextFree Languages and Pushdown Automata Chapter 7 FALL BREAK!Week 8 Oct 2327 Properties of ContextFree Languages hapter 7 Week 9 Oct 30Nov 3 Turing Machines and Computability Chapter 8
Week 10 Nov 610 Other Models of Computation Chapter 9
Exam 2: ContextFree Languages
Week 11 Nov 1317 The Halting Problem and Other Undecidable Problems Chapter 9
Week 12 Nov 2022 NP Completeness
Chapter 10 Week 13 Nov 27Dec 1 Cook's Theorem Chapter 10 Week 13 Dec 4Dec 8 Other "Impossible" results
Final Exam: Wednesday, December 13, 9AM