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92054 CSC 3171A - 0 - Algorithms

Fall 2011
Meets selected Thursdays, 4:55 pm -- 7:36 pm, Brookhaven A113
1 Sep 11, 8 Sep 11, 22 Sep 11, 6 Oct 11, 13 Oct 11, 3 Nov 11, 17 Nov 11, 8 Dec 11
Herbert J. Bernstein ( )



This web page is http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/.dowling/CSC3171F11/CSC3171_Syllabus.html
Copyright © 2007, 2011 Herbert J. Bernstein and other parties. All rights reserved.

This is the syllabus for CSC 3171A for Fall 2011. As the course moves forward, students should return to this page frequently for updated material. This is a hybrid course. Certain sessions are held on-site at Dowling College's Brookhaven Campus. The remaining sessions are on-line sessions.

Catalog description:

CSC 3171A. Algorithms

3 credits

Algorithmic development is a key ingredient to the development of computer-based solutions for a wide variety of scientific and industrial problems. This course provides students with an opportunity to further develop their skills in developing and documenting methodologies for the solution of various problem classes. Topics include the writing of understandable pseudocode, techniques for estimating the efficiency of an algorithm, the use of advanced data structures, and the implementation of these techniques using a programming language like Java or C++. Example problems may be drawn from a variety of areas in discrete and continuous mathematics.

Prerequisites: MTH 1017A and CSC 2025A, or permission of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department chair.

This Fall 2011 section is:
Algorithms - 92054 - CSC 3171A - 0
Associated Term: Fall 2011
Registration Dates: Apr 11, 2011 to Dec 17, 2011
Levels: Undergraduate
Attributes: Liberal Arts
Instructors: Herbert J. Bernstein (P)

Brookhaven Campus
Lecture Schedule Type
Blended Instructional Method
3.000 Credits
View Catalog Entry

Scheduled Meeting Times
Type Time Days Where Date Range Schedule Type Instructors
Class 4:55 pm - 7:36 pm R Brookhaven Campus A113 Sep 01, 2011 - Sep 08, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail
On line TBA   Internet teaching on line LINE Sep 01, 2011 - Dec 17, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail
Class 4:55 pm - 7:36 pm R Brookhaven Campus A113 Sep 22, 2011 - Sep 22, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail
Class 4:55 pm - 7:36 pm R Brookhaven Campus A113 Oct 06, 2011 - Oct 13, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail
Class 4:55 pm - 7:36 pm R Brookhaven Campus A113 Nov 03, 2011 - Nov 03, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail
Class 4:55 pm - 7:36 pm R Brookhaven Campus A113 Nov 17, 2011 - Nov 17, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail
Class 4:55 pm - 7:36 pm R Brookhaven Campus A113 Dec 08, 2011 - Dec 08, 2011 Lecture Herbert J. Bernstein (P)E-mail


Office Hours:

Students have the option of meeting with the instructor either on-site or via Skype. In order to avoid conflicts with other students and other obligations of the instructor, if possible please make an appointment via email.

Note that, in general, Dr. Bernstein will be at the Brookhaven campus on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and on the Oakdale campus on Wednesday afternoons. Meetings on the Oakdale campus will be in KSC 103. Meetings at the Oakdale campus are by appointment only.

For more information see http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/.dowling/HJB_Contact_Info.html.

Required Texts:

Required Supplies:

A computer is required to do the online portions of this course. Dowling College has open computer laboratories, but use of a laptop computer or netbook is highly recommended. Any student who does not have their own netbook or laptop must contact the instructor to ensure that they make appropriate arrangements to keep up with the course. A hard bound laboratory notebook. An inexpensive back-and-white covered composition book will suffice but it must be bound (not looseleaf).

Keeping clear written records is an important part of working in any scientific field. It is particularly important in Computer Science, where there are very complex, non-obvious decisions to make. In addition, 60% of your grade for this course will be in the final for which you will need a dense 2-page set of notes. A good notebook will help you to prepare those notes.

Students are expected to have their text books no later than the second week of class. Students can start learning some of the material for the course immediately by going to the MIT OpenCourseWare site and reviewing the video lectures at http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-046j-introduction-to-algorithms-sma-5503-fall-2005/video-lectures/ While we will not be using the same text book the material presented should be very helpful to you in understanding Knuth.


Attendance will be taken at all on-site class meetings, and regular participation in the on-line exercises is required. We are trying to arrange permission for students who wish to, to participate in the on-site sessions via Skype. We will discuss that option further at the first on-site class session. Be certain to attend that one in person.

Grading Policy:

Your objective in this course is to display a firm grasp of everything that is in Knuth. The final examination will be a closed book comprehesive examination that may draw on anything and everything in Knuth. The only grades that will be given will be A, B or I, and the only way to clear an incomplete is to take an even tougher closed book make-up examination that demonstrates a thorough understanding of everything in Knuth.

Students will be given weekly quizzes and assignments to help ensure regular attention to the material of the course. On-site sessions will consist of both lecture-style reviews of materials and presentation and discussions by the students in which all students are expected to display an understanding of the material they have been working on.

In addition to routine reading assignments, students will have two kinds of special assignments: ones that will help them to explore algorithms in practice and ones that will help them to study a syllabus topic in depth. Students have one week from the start of the semester to propose a significant topic within which they will to explore appropriate algorithms. If no proposals are made, the instructor will make assignments involving the following threads: molecular graphics, nearest neighbor problems, numerical linear algebra.

The study assignments will be handled by each student presenting a web page lecture on that topic for the instructor and other class members to review presenting that topic to the class during an on-site session with discussions both in-class and on-line on the algorithm issues in that topic resulting in revisions to the web page. The resulting web page will become a part of the publicly available on-line materials of the course.

You will have to do such assignments multiple times.

Every student will be required to maintain a contemporaneous hardbound notebook recording all significant activities related to this course.

The work load for this course is very heavy. Students are encouraged to form study groups and to work together.

In general, no assignments will be accepted late and no makeups will be given for missed quizzes or examinations. Requests for exceptions to this policy will be considered only for the most pressing reasons (illness requiring hospitalization, death in the family, reserve call-up, etc.), must be submitted in writing in a timely manner, and will be granted only if the instructor has sound reason to believe that the student is highly likely to master the material of the course within the current semester.

Course Syllabus

The syllabus and the course objectives that follows are derived in part from the IEEE/ACM "Computing Curricula 2001 Computer Science" - Final Report - (December 15, 2001) by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula, Publisher:IEEE Computer Society, Association for Computing Machinery.

Course Objectives

Please consult the course assigments page frequently.

Review of Java

Click here for a review of java.

Secure Remote Access with GUI

Using VNC via SSH: vnc.html

Dowling Computer Club

If you're interested in joining with your fellow students in developing and maintaining a web site, or pursuing your exploration of computer hardware or software, you might want to consider joining the Dowling Computer Club. Just follow the link for further details:

Dowling College Computer Club Web Site

Updated 6 October 2011.