CSCI 140 is an introduction to algorithm design and analysis techniques. The course covers basic techniques used to analyze algorithms, basic techniques used in designing algorithms, and important classical algorithms. The goal is to learn how to apply all of the above to designing solutions to new problems (a skill that you will practice throughout the semester). Grades will be based on assignments, exams, and participation. The prerequisite for this class is CS 62.


Instructor: Dr. Dave
e-mail: David.last_name@pomona.edu
office hours: Edmunds 224
  Tue, Thu - 9:30-11am
  Fri - 9 - 10am
  and by appointment

Mentor hours:
Thursday: 7-9pm - Emily
Friday: 9-10:50am - David, 1-3pm: Jan
Saturday: 3-5pm - Clair
Sunday: 2-5pm - Alan, Guy

Learning Community Meetings:

Assignment submission: Gradescope
Discussion/questions: Slack

Textbook: Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd/4th Edition by Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein (CLRS). We will have some copies in the Edmunds lab library.

If you need accommodations please contact the Disability Coordinator on your home campus. The process for Pomona students is available here.


The basic flow each week will be as follows:

You will be assigned to a small group of approximately 4 students the first week of classes. Your group will work together for the entire semester; your first task will be to find a time when you can all meet for an hour on either Thursday or Friday. The plan is for each group to have an assigned TA who will attend the meetings to answer questions, talk through concepts, etc. Each week there will be a low-stakes assignment to work on during your group meeting; this will be turned in on Friday evening on Gradescope.

In addition, there will be a weekly problem set. The assignments will mostly be done and submitted in pairs and will also be submitted on gradescope. The pairs will be by assignment for the first few weeks and then at your discretion after that. Problems on the assignment will ask you to apply concepts in new ways. As with the practice problems you may discuss the problems with anyone else currently taking cs140 (or with the TAs or myself), but each pair must write up their own solution.

Finally there will be two checkpoints approximately.

The breakdown of grades will be as follows:


This is a high-level outline of the planned syllabus. Note that the calendar is subject to change. Unless otherwise specified, the readings are in CLRS.

Day Date Topic Reading Due
W 1/18 intro/math basics (ppt) Assign 0 (.tex) due 1/22 at 8pm
M 1/23 big-O (ppt)
W 1/25 recurrences (ppt) Group 1 due 1/27 at 8pm
Assign 1 (.tex) due 1/29 at 8pm
M 1/30 more recurrences (ppt)
W 2/1 sorting concluded (ppt) Group 2 due 2/3 at 8pm
Assign 2 (.tex) due 2/5 at 8pm
M 2/6 order statistics, data structures review (ppt)
W 2/8 binary search trees (ppt) Group 3 due 2/10 at 8pm
Assign 3 (.tex) due 2/12 at 8pm
M 2/13 amortized analysis (ppt)
W 2/15 heaps, binomial heaps (ppt) Group 4 due 2/17 at 8pm
Assign 4 (.tex) due 2/19 at 8pm
test files
M 2/20 greedy algorithms (ppt)
W 2/22 review Group 5 due 2/24 at 8pm
Assign 5 (.tex) due 2/26 at 8pm
        due 3/1 at 9pm
M 2/27 checkpoint 1 sample checkpoint - solutions
W 3/1 greedy algorithms (ppt) Group 6 due 3/3 at 8pm
Assign 6 (.tex) due 3/10 at 8pm
M 3/6 hashtables (ppt)
W 3/8 misc (ppt) No LCs this week
M 3/13 Spring Break
W 3/15 Spring Break
M 3/20 dynamic programming (ppt)
W 3/22 dynamic programming (ppt) Group 7 due 3/24 at 8pm
Assign 7 (.tex) due 3/26 at 8pm
M 3/27 dynamic programming (ppt
W 3/29 graph basics (ppt) Group 8 due 3/31 at 8pm
Assign 8 (.tex) due 4/2 at 8pm
M 4/3 more graphs (ppt)
W 4/5 shortest paths (ppt) Group 9 due 4/7 at 8pm
Assign 9 (.tex) due 4/9 at 8pm
M 4/10 shortest paths concluded (ppt)
W 4/12 network flow (ppt) Group 10 due 4/14 at 8pm
Assign 10 (.tex) due 4/23 at 8pm
M 4/17 checkpoint 2 sample problems - solutions
W 4/19 NP completeness (ppt) Group 10.2 due 4/21 at 8pm
M 4/24 NP reductions (ppt)
example reduction (.tex)
W 4/26 linear programming (ppt Group 11 due 4/28 at 8pm
Assign 11 (.tex) due 4/30 at 8pm
M 5/1 review (ppt)
W 5/3 office hours
The take-home final exam will need to be completed by the end of the day on Wednesday, 5/10.