COMPSCI 311: Introduction to Algorithms (Section 2)

Spring 2019

Marius Minea

Welcome to the Spring 2019 homepage for COMPSCI 311: Introduction to Algorithms (Section 2).
This course has similar lectures with Section 1 (taught by Dan Sheldon). The sections share TAs and graders, Moodle, Piazza and Gradescope sites, and there will be common assignments, quizzes, and midterms, but finals are on different days.

Basic Information

Description This course will introduce you to algorithms in a variety of areas of interest, such as sorting, searching, string-processing, and graph algorithms. You will learn to study the performance of various algorithms within a formal, mathematical framework. You will also learn how to design very efficient algorithms for many kinds of problems. Mathematical experience (as provided by COMPSCI 250) is required. You should also be able to program in Java, C, or some other closely related language. Prerequisites: COMPSCI 187 and either COMPSCI 250 or MATH 455.

Exams Homework (dates are tentative) Schedule
The schedule is tentative and will be updated as class progresses.
Week Date Topics Readings
1 Lec 1 1/23 Introduction and Stable Matching Chapter 1.1
Dis 1 1/25
2 Lec 2 1/28 Algorithm Analysis and Asymptotics Ch 2.1, 2.2
Lec 3 1/30 Algorithm Analysis, Graphs Ch 3.1, 3.2
Dis 2 2/1
3 Lec 4 2/4 Graphs Ch 3.3, 3.4
Lec 5 2/6 Graphs Ch 3.5, 3.6
Dis 3 2/8
4 Lec 6 2/11 Greedy Ch 4.1
Lec 7 2/13 Greedy Ch 4.2
Dis 4 2/15
Lec 8 2/19 Greedy (Monday Schedule) Ch. 4.4
Lec 9 2/20 Greedy Ch. 4.5, 4.6
Dis 5 2/22
6 Lec 10 2/25 Divide and Conquer Ch. 5.1, 5.2
Lec 11 2/27 Divide and Conquer Ch. 5.4, 5.5
Dis 6 1/1
7 Lec 12 3/4 Divide and Conquer Ch. 5.2
Lec 13 3/6 Dynamic Programming Ch. 6.1, 6.2
Dis 7 3/8
SPRING BREAK (3/10-3/17)
8 Lec 14 3/18 Dynamic Programming Ch. 6.3, 6.4
Lec 15 3/20 Dynamic Programming Ch. 6.6
Dis 8 3/22
9 Lec 16 3/25 Dynamic Programming IV Ch. 6.8
Lec 17 3/27 Network Flow Ch. 7.1, 7.2
Dis 9 3/29
10 Lec 18 4/1 Network Flow Ch. 7.2, 7.3
Lec 19 4/3 Network Flow III Ch. 7.5
Dis 10 4/5
11 Lec 20 4/8 Intractability Ch. 8.1
Lec 21 4/10 Intractability Ch. 8.2, 8.3
Dis 11 4/12
Lec 22 4/17 Intractability (Monday Schedule) Ch 8.3
Dis 12 4/17
13 Lec 23 4/22 Intractability Ch 8.4
Lec 24 4/24 Approximation Algorithms Ch 11.1, 11.2
Dis 13 4/26
14 Lec 25 4/29 Randomized Algorithms Ch 13.1, 13.2, 13.4
Lec 26 5/1 Review

Grading Resources Collaboration and Academic Honesty Online Quizzes

Quizzes will be issued before the weekend and must be submitted before 8pm on Monday. No credit will be given for late quizzes, but the lowest scoring quiz will be dropped.

Homework Submission and Late Policy

Homework will be submitted via GradeScope. You may type up your answers in Latex and compile to pdf (preferred) or hand-write your homework and scan to pdf. If scanned, the pdf must be rotated correctly, scanned at high quality, and readable at a standard letter size. If the homework is not submitted in the correct format, it will not receive credit. Unreadable work, scratching out, etc. will not be graded. You should view the pdf once you submit to ensure it meets these minimum standards. Review the gradescope submission workflow (here and here) to make sure you upload and annotate your homework correctly.

Late policy

A 50% penalty will be applied for homework that is late by up to 24 hours. Homework that is late by more than 24 hours receives no credit. However, each student is allowed to submit one homework up to 24 hours late without penalty.

Discussion Section

The discussion section will be used every week except when noted on the course schedule and will consist of exercises to practice solving problems in small groups. Attendance is required and counts towards the course grade.


Please read the CICS inclusivity statement, copied here:

The College of Computer and Information Sciences shares UMass Amherst’s commitment to diversity. We welcome all individuals regardless of age, background, citizenship, disability, sex, education, ethnicity, family status, gender, gender identity, geographical origin, language, military experience, political views, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and work experience. We expect all members of our community to treat others with respect and civility.

Accomodations for Disabilities

If you have a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact Disability Services, located in 161 Whitmore Hall, (413) 545-0892. If you are eligible, they will grant you accommodations and notify the instructors.