Fundamental Algorithms -- Spring 2015

Due to the psuedostorm our first class will be Monday, February 2. The syllabus below has been REVISED.


Click here postscript LaTeX pdf for syllabus and more info. This syllabus has been revised in the wake of the missed class. There can be further changes. They will be posted on this website.

When and Where

Monday 5-6:50, ciww 109


Prof. Joel Spencer

Office: 829ciww

Email: {lowercaselastname}

Office Hours: Tuesday 3-5, ciww 829


Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein

We are using the THIRD edition.


Thursday 5:10-6, ciww109

Instructor: Molly Alter

Basic Information

There will be a final exam and a midterm.

There will be assignments to be handed in pretty much every week.

The assignments to be submitted at the start of the next Recitation Section.

Movie Time!

On Thursday, February 19, 8pm, a new documentary will be shown at MoMath. Counting From Infinity gives the story of Yitang Zhang, the mathematician who in 2013 made a crucial breakthrough towards solving the Twin Primes Conjecture. The film recounts the story of Zhang's perseverance against adversity, his discovery, and its place in mathematical history. Prof. Spencer will make comments and lead a discussion following the movie. MoMath is at 11 E 26 Street. This is NOT part of the course and completely optional. MoMath is an entertaining museum and you might well enjoy it. Please note that tickets are NOT free!

MoMath Info and Registration


Assignments are to be handed in at the start of the Recitation Section. Generally (but not always) they will be posted before Prof Spencer's Lecture on Monday.

Electronic submissions are NOT accepted -- hard copy must be submitted.

In rare circumstances (e.g.: student at out of town job interview) exceptions may be made by Prof. Spencer but the student MUST notify Prof. Spencer in advance.

SPECIAL NOTE: Prof. Spencer encourages collaboration on the assignments. Find someone (preferably, someone smarter than you!) or, even better, create a small group and discuss the assignments together. However, all students must hand in the assignments individually and must write out the solutions in their own words. At the top of the assignment the collaborators must be listed: E.g.: Collaboration with Alan Turing and William Gates.

[IGNORE previous messages about first assignment -- it IS to be submitted!]

Problem Set I: postscript LaTeX pdf Due Thursday, Feb 5, in recitation.


Will be posted here after the assignments are handed in.

Final Exam

Monday, May 18, 5:10-7:00 p.m. in ciww 109

NOTE: Do NOT NOT NOT arrange your flight home for before that!!!

Various Notes


Send me an email: {lowercaselastname}

Just In Case

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