CMPSCI 240: Spring 2009

Syllabus and Course Schedule

Prof. David Mix Barrington

Reading assignments are from Barrington, A Mathematical Foundation for Computer Science, fifth draft. Two packets, one of chapters 6 and 10 and the other of chapters 11 and 12, will be available at cost at Collective Copies in downtown Amherst.

Lecture meetings MWF 11:15-12:05, and discussion class meetings on Fridays at 10:10-11:00 are both in room 1334 of Lederde tower (LGRT). In fact we will have lecture 10:10-11:00 on Fridays and then discussion during the 11:15-12:05 slot. Discussion periods will have either in-class writing assignments or help with the programming assignments.

This is a course under construction! The syllabus may change as the term progresses.

PART I:  Basic Probability and Counting

Mon 26 Jan L01  Course Overview 
Wed 28 Jan L02  Basic Probability Definitions (10.1)
Fri 30 Jan L03  The Four Counting Problems (6.1)
Fri 30 Jan D01  Programming Assignment #1 Overview (no assignment)
Mon 02 Feb L04  Sum and Product Rules (6.1)
Wed 04 Feb L05  Double-Counting and Inclusion/Exclusion (6.2)
Fri 06 Feb L06  First and Second Counting Problems (6.3,6.4)
Fri 06 Feb D02  The Problem of Sorting (6.5)
Mon 09 Feb L07  Third Counting Problem (6.6)
Wed 11 Feb L08  Counting Poker Hands (6.6)
Fri 13 Feb L09  Fourth Counting Problem (6.7)
Fri 13 Feb D03  Practicing Counting Problems (not in book)
Mon 16 Feb ---  NO CLASS (Presidents' Day)
Wed 18 Feb L10  Catalan Numbers (6.9,6.10,6.11)
Fri 20 Feb X01  FIRST MIDTERM using both periods 

PART II: Probability and Expected Value

Mon 23 Feb L11  Applying Counting to Probability (10.1)
Wed 25 Feb L12  Expected Value (10.2)
Fri 27 Feb L13  Evaluating Games (10.3)
Fri 27 Feb D04  Analysis of Craps (10.4
Mon 02 Mar L14  Variance and Standard Deviation (10.5)
Wed 04 Mar L15  Binomial Distributions (10.6)
Fri 06 Feb L16  The Coupon Collector's Problem (10.8)
Fri 06 Feb D05  Programming Project #2 Help (no assignment)
Mon 00 Mar L17  Markov and Chebyshev Bounds (10.9)
Wed 11 Mar L18  The Union Bound (10.11)
Fri 13 Mar X02  SECOND MIDTERM using both periods


PART III: Probabilistic Reasoning

Mon 23 Mar L19  Conditional Probabilities and Bayes' Theorem (11.1)
Wed 25 Mar L20  Odds and Likelihood (11.2)
Fri 27 Mar L21  Examples of Bayesian Reasoning (11.3)
Fri 27 Mar D06  A Police Lineup (11.4)
Mon 30 Mar L22  The Naive Bayes Classifier (11.5)
Wed 01 Apr L23  More on the NBC (11.5)
Fri 03 Apr L24  Problems with the NBC (11.6)
Fri 03 Apr D07  Programming Project #3 Help (no assignment)
Mon 06 Apr L25  Graphical Models of Distributions (11.7)
Wed 08 Apr L26  Pseudorandom Generators (11.9)
Fri 10 Apr L27  More Pseudorandom Generators (11.9)
Fri 10 Apr D08  A Probabilistic Murder Mystery (11.8)
Mon 13 Apr L28  Monte Carlo Simulation (11.10)
Wed 15 Apr L29  More Monte Carlo Simulation (11.10)
Fri 17 Apr X03  THIRD MIDTERM using both periods

PART IV: Markov Processes

Mon 20 Apr ---  NO CLASS (Patriots' Day)
Tue 21 Apr L30  State Machines and the Markov Rule (12.1)
Wed 22 Apr L31  Markov Chains (12.2)
Fri 24 Apr L32  Matrices and Graphs (12.2)
Fri 24 Apr D09  Markov Text Generation (12.4)
Mon 27 Apr L33  Long-Term Behavior of Markov Processes (12.3)
Wed 29 Apr L34  Markov Decision Processes (12.5)
Fri 01 May L35  Horizons and Discounting (12.6)
Fri 01 May D10  Programming Project #4 Help (no assignment)
Mon 04 May L36  Value and Policy Iteration (12.7)
Wed 06 May L37  Classical Game Theory (12.9)
Fri 08 May L38  The Prisoners' Dilemma (12.11)
Fri 08 May D11  Course Evaluations
Mon 11 May L39  Course Review

Final Exam (cumulative) Fri 15 March, 1:30-3:30 p.m., CMPSCI Bldg, room 140

Last modified 23 March 2009