WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department
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CS4123 Theory of Computation 
Syllabus - B 2002

PROF. CAROLINA RUIZ 

WARNING: Small changes to this syllabus may be made during the course of the term. 
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COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Building on the theoretical foundations from CS 3133, this course addresses the fundamental question of what it means to be "computable," including different characterization of computable sets and functions. Topics include the halting problem, the Church-Turing thesis, primitive recursive functions, recursive sets, recursively enumerable sets, NP-completeness, and reducibilities.


COURSE GOALS AND OUTCOMES:

Course Goals:

The goal of CS4123 is to provide the students with knowledge and techniques that will allow them to determine whether a given problem is or is not solvable with a computer (decidable vs. undecidable problems), and if it is solvable with a computer, whether or not it can be solved within a "reasonable" amount of time (tractable vs. intractable problems).

Course Outcomes:

During the course of the term the students will learn the necessary knowledge and will gain the necessary first hand experience to:

CLASS MEETING:

Mo, Tu, Th, Fr 1:00 - 1:50 p.m.
Classroom: AK233


PROFESSOR:

Prof. Carolina Ruiz
ruiz@cs.wpi.edu
Office: FL 232
Phone Number: (508) 831-5640
Office Hours:
Mo. 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Th. 3:00 - 4:00 pm, or by appointment


TEACHING ASSISTANT:

Beth Donovan
bdonovan@cs.wpi.edu
Office Hours: CS Annex (GL05)
Tu. 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Thu. 11:00 - 12:00 pm
Fr. 10:00 - 11:00 am

SENIOR ASSISTANT:

Adam Elliott
aelliott@wpi.edu
Office Hours: CS Annex (GL05)
Wed. 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Thu. 5:00 - 6:00 pm


TEXTBOOK (required):


RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

CS 3133 Foundations of Computer Science.


GRADING AND ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY:

Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Quiz 1 10%
Quiz 2 10%
Homework 30%
Class Participation Extra Points

You may discuss the homework with your classmates if you wish, but you must develop and write your own solutions. Your solutions must be your own original work. However, if for some reason you use any other sources of ideas, including for instance books, web pages, etc., you must explicitly acknowledge those sources. Failure to identify non-original work is considered academic dishonesty. Collaboration or other outside assistance on exams is not allowed.

Your grade will reflect your own work and achievements during the course. Any type of cheating will be penalized with an NR grade for the course and will be reported to the WPI Judicial Board. See http://www.WPI.EDu/Pubs/Policies/sect5.html for the WPI's Academic Honesty Policy.


EXAMS

There will be a total of 2 exams. Each exam will cover the material presented in class since the beginning of the term. In particular, the final exam is cumulative. Both exams will be in-class, closed-book, individual exams, unless otherwise noted.

HOMEWORK

A total of four homework assignments will be given during the term. Solutions to the homework will be made available soon after homework is collected so no late homework will be accepted. Homework in this class is individual. You may discuss the homework with your classmates if you wish, but you must develop and write your own solutions.

According to the WPI Undergraduate Catalog, "Unless otherwise indicated, WPI courses usually carry credit of 1/3 unit. This level of activity suggests at least 17 hours of work per week, including class and laboratory time." Hence, you are expected to spend at least 13 hours of work per week on this course outside the classroom.


QUIZZES

Two major quizzes will be given during the term. One between the beginning of the term and Exam 1, and one between the Exam 1 and Exam 2. These quizzes will be based on the homework assignments and the material covered in class, and will serve as preparation for the Exams.

Also, other smaller, pop quizzes may be given during the term. Be prepared!


CLASS PARTICIPATION

Students are expected to attend class and to read the material assigned to each class in advance. Class participation will add extra points to students' grades.

CLASS MAILING LIST

The mailing list for this class is:
cs4123@cs.wpi.edu

BS/MS GRADUATE CREDIT

This course may be taken for graduate credit by students in the BS/MS CS program. Written permission from the professor is required. In order to receive graduate credit, students who have signed up for this program need to solve and turn in solutions to additional, higher level problems included in each of the course's homework assignments.

CLASS WEB PAGES

The web pages for this class are located at: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~cs4123/b02/
Announcements will be posted on the web pages and/or the class mailing list, and so you are urged to check your email and the class web pages frequently.

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED REFERENCES

The following additional references complement and/or supplement the material contained in the required textbook.
  1. Christos H. Papadimitriou, ``Computational Complexity'', Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.

  2. H.R. Lewis and C.H. Papadimitriou, ``Elements of the Theory of Computation''. Second edition. Prentice Hall, 1998.

  3. M.R. Garey and D.S. Johnson, ``Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness''. W.H. Freeman, 1979.

  4. J.E. Hopcroft and J.D. Ullman, ``Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages, and Computation''. Addison Wesley, 1979.

  5. T.H. Cormen, C.E. Leiserson, R.L. Rivest, ``Introduction to Algorithms''. McGraw-Hill, 1989.

  6. H. Rogers, ``Theory of Recursive Functions and Effective Computability''. The MIT Press, 1987.

WARNING:

Small changes to this syllabus may be made during the course of the term.