CS 520 Computer Science Foundations - Syllabus

Term and Credits

Spring 2017-2018
3 Credits

Room and Time

Monday 6:00pm-8:50pm University Crossings Room 153

Videos lectures will be provided.


Mark Boady
Electronic Mail Address: mwb33@drexel.edu
Office: University Crossings 138
Extention: 215-895-2347
Office Hours: Tuesday 2-4PM, Wednesday 3-5PM, Thursday by Appointment

Teaching Assistant(s)

Phuc Ngo
Electronic Mail Address: ptn32@drexel.edu
Office: Drexel CLC UC 152
Office Hours:Wed 6-8PM

Reza Moradinezhad
Electronic Mail Address: rm976@drexel.edu
Office: Drexel CLC UC 152
Office Hours: Wed 12-2PM, Thursday 6-8PM

Course Description

Survey of basic mathematics concepts needed for the study of computer science at the graduate level: induction, iteration, recursion; analysis of program running time; graphs and trees; predicate logic; regular expressions, Context Free Grammars, and Turing Machines.

Course Objective and Goals

  1. Learn to analyze the running time of iterative and recursive algorithms.
  2. Learn to prove properties of algorithms and data structures using induction.
  3. Gain familiarity with basic data structures and algorithms related to them, such as trees and graphs.
  4. Learn the limits and applications of regular expressions, context free grammars, and turing machines.
  5. Learn relationships between languages and automata.
  6. Learn to use logic to prove properties of algorithms.

Audience and Purpose within Plan of Study

This course is for graduate students with little or no prior knowledge of data structures and algorithms. It serves to give such students a firm foundation for future graduate study, and it is a requirement of the Computer Science Minor and Computer Science Post Bachelor Certificate degree programs.


What Students Should Know Prior to this Course

  1. Ability to read and understand code.
  2. Basic understanding of program execution.

What Students will be able to do upon Successfully Completing this Course:

  1. Students will be able to analyze algorithms.
  2. Students will understand a set of fundamental algorithms and how to apply them.
  3. Students will be able to prove properties of algorithms using induction, proof by contradiction, and predicate logic.
  4. Students will be able to apply regular expressions and context free grammars to parse strings.
  5. Students will be able to determine the applications and limits of data structures, algorithms, and languages.


We will use free resources for this class.

Book of Proof (Second Edition)
Richard Hammack
Paperback: ISBN 978-0-9894721-0-4
Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-9894721-1-1
Available for Free online at: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~rhammack/BookOfProof/

Introduction to Theory of Computation
Anil Maheshwari and Michiel Smid
Available for Free online at: http://cglab.ca/~michiel/TheoryOfComputation/

Supplemental Texts

If you want a textbook about the Algorithms we will be studying, I recommend this one. It is not required. I just think its a great resource.

Algorithms (4th Edition)
Robert Sedgewick, Kevin Wayne
ISBN-10: 032157351X
ISBN-13: 860-1400041420
See it on Amazon

Course Material




Presentation Reviews

Final Exam

Slack Channel

Late Submissions

Special Circumstances

Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy

The CCI Academic Honesty policy is in effect for this course. Please see the policy at http://drexel.edu/cci/resources/current-students/undergraduate/policies/cs-academic-integrity/.

Academic Honesty Violations will be reported to the University. Punishment will be determined by the severity of the incident. Punishments include, but are not limited to,

Grading and Policies

Final grades will be determined by your total points weighted according to this distribution. Grades may be curved but are generally computed via the formula below. It may be modified at the instructor's sole discretion, but letter grades will generally not be lower than those shown here.

Computer/Software Help
iCommons: http://drexel.edu/cci/about/our-facilities/rush-building/iCommons/

University Policies
In addition to the course policies listed on this syllabus, course assignments or course website, the following University policies are in effect:


  1. Graphs
  2. Searching
  3. Sorting
  4. Proof Methods
  5. Computational Models: DFA, CFG, Turing Machines

Tentative Course Schedule

Please see the appropriate assignment webpages for a detailed description of course deliverables.

Week Topic Reading Presentation Lab
1 (4/2/18) Thinking Algorithmically Algorithmic Thinking: The Key for Understanding Computer Science   Lab 1
Due by 4/8/18 11:59PM
2 (4/9/18) Binary Numbers, Boolean Logic Chapter 2 for Book of Proof
Binary Numbers
Logic Circuits
Binary Addition
Number Representations
  Lab 2
Due 4/15/18 11:59PM
3 (4/16/18) DFA and NFA Chapter 2.1-2.6 of Theory of Computation
DFA/NFA Simulator
Pres. 1
Due 4/22/18 11:59PM
Lab 3
Due 4/22/18 11:59PM
4 (4/23/18) Regular Expressions and Context Free Grammars Chapter 2.7-2.9 of Theory of Computation
Chapter 3.1-3.3 of Theory of Computation
DFA/NFA Simulator
Pres. 1 Reviews
Due 4/29/18 11:59PM
Lab 4
Due 4/29/18 11:59PM
5 (4/30/18) Turing Machines Church-Turing Thesis
Chapter 4 from Theory of Computation
Turing Machine Simulator
Pres. 2
Due 5/6/18 11:59PM
Lab 5
Due 5/6/18 11:59PM
6 (5/7/18) Introduction to Algorithms and Induction Linear Search
Binary Search
Big Oh Notation
Asymptotic Notations Chapter 10 (Induction) from Book of Proof
Pres. 2 Reviews
Due 5/13/18 11:59PM
Lab 6
Due 5/13/18 11:59PM
7 (5/14/18) Sorting Algorithms and Master Theorem Merge Sort
Quick Sort
Insertion Sort
Tower of Hanoi
Master Theorem
Pres. 3
Due 5/20/18 11:59PM
Lab 7
Due 5/20/18 11:59PM
8 (5/21/18) Intro to Trees Binary Search Trees
Huffman Codes
Heaps/Priority Queues
Pres. 3 Reviews
Due 5/27/18 11:59PM
Lab 8
Due 5/27/18 11:59PM
9 (5/28/18) - No Monday Class Intro to Graphs Graph Representations
Depth First Search
Breadth First Search
Prim's Algorithm
Kruskal's Algorithm
Pres. 4
Due 6/3/18 11:59PM
Lab 9
Due 6/3/18 11:59PM
10 (6/4/18) Shortest Paths Floyd-Warshall
A* and Dijkstra
Pres. 4 Reviews
Due 6/10/18 11:59PM
Lab 10
Due 6/10/18 11:59PM
11 (6/11/18) Final Online Due June 17th 11:59PM - No In Class Events this week