CSC263 Fall'08 Course Information

Instructor information

Iannis Tourlakis
Office: SF 2304D
Phone: 416-946-7977

Tutorials begin the first week of classes and are held every Thursday at 11am. For the first week all students will go to the same tutorial room which will be announced in lecture. Tutorial divisions and locations for subsequent weeks will be announced here.

The required textbook for the course is:
  • Goodrich and Tamassia
    Algorithm Design
We will also use the following text which is available free to U of T students through the library website:
  • Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein
    Introduction to Algorithms, second edition
Course topics

  • Abstract data types, design and comparison of data structures [1 week]
  • Dictionaries and Balanced search trees [2 weeks]
  • Augmenting Data Structures [1 week]
  • Hashing [2 weeks]
  • Priority queues [2 weeks]
  • Disjoint Sets [1 week]
  • Graph representations, graph traversals, and minimum spanning trees [2 weeks]
  • Amortized analysis and Average case analysis [2 weeks]
Course prerequisites

CSC207/270, CSC236/238, STA247/255/257

If you are missing a prerequisite, please contact the instructor before the end of the first week of class to see if it can be waived!
Important dates

Sep 9: First class
Sep 21: Last day to add
Oct 23: Midterm
Nov 3: Last day to drop
Dec 4: Last class
Dec 8-19: Final examination period
Grading scheme

5 Assignments, each worth 8%
Assignment 1 due October 2
Assignment 2 due October 14
Assignment 3 due November 4
Assignment 4 due November 18
Assignment 5 due December 2

Midterm 20%
October 23 10:10am-noon

Final Exam 40%

Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Problem sets handed in after 10:15am, but before 10:15am on the following day will be penalized 25%. Assignments will not be accepted after 10:15am on the day following the due date. Final marks may be adjusted up or down to conform with University of Toronto grading policies. Students must receive a minimum of 40% on the final exam to pass the course.

Questions concerning the grading of assignments and the midterm exam must be submitted in writing to the instructor or your tutor within two weeks of the date when the item was returned to the class. The question should be written on a separate piece of paper stapled to the front of the assignment or midterm exam.
Special consideration

If you are unable to complete homework or if you miss the midterm test due to major illness or other circumstances completely outside of your control, contact the instructor immediately. Extensions will be considered on an individual basis and will not be given automatically. In case of illness, medical documentation must be supplied on the standard University of Toronto Student Medical Certificate, which you can obtain from your college registrar. (A simple note from your doctor is not acceptable.)

Missed Midterm Test

If you miss the midterm test and receive special consideration from the instructor, a mark will be computed to replace the missing mark based on your mark on the final examination. No make-up test will be given.

Missed Lectures

If you miss a lecture, you should get lecture notes from a classmate and read them and any appropriate material from the course text. If you are still confused or have question after doing this, come to office hours.
Policy concerning collaboration

Students often learn a lot from working with one another. You are encouraged to meet with other students from class for this purpose. For example, you might work through exercises in the course text together or discuss any material you found confusing in lecture or in the text.

It is also legitimate to discuss assignment problems with other students in the class or to consult other texts. However, you must destroy any notes concerning assignment problems made during this time and you must not write down anything for at least two hours afterwards. Assignments must be written up completely by yourself using only the text and your own notes as aids. The point is that your written report should be your own work. Do not let other students even look at your completed assignment solutions, since this can lead to copying. These rules are meant to ensure that all students understand their solutions to the problems well enough to write up solutions by themselves. Failure to comply with these guidelines is a serious academic offense.

On the first page of each homework assignment, you must explicitly list all people, except the professor and course tutor, with whom you have discussed assignment problems (even briefly) and which problems you discussed with each. If you have discussed the homework with no one except the professor or course tutor, write "NO OUTSIDE DISCUSSION". You must also list all other material that you have consulted. If you have consulted no material except the course textbook and your course notes, write "NO EXTRA MATERIAL CONSULTED". Note that finding (or copying) the solution to a homework problem on the web does not demonstrate your understanding of course material and, hence, will receive no credit.
Getting help

Office hours:
Tuesdays 2-4pm. Also by appointment.

Bulletin board: Students can post questions and answers on the course bulletin board at The instructor and TAs will monitor the board and respond to questions regularly.

Email: If you are having trouble with course material or if you need extra help do not hesitate to email the instructor. I'll try to reply as soon as possible and certainly within a day; however, keep in mind that I don't always read email over weekends, so a reply may take longer for mails sent then.

Also, please follow the following guidelines for email correspondence:
  • In general, detailed help is best obtained in person (i.e., at tutorials and office hours); email is best for simple, clarification-type questions.
  • Please look at the bulletin board to see if your question has already been answered before emailing your instructor.
  • If your question may be of interest to other students (e.g., questions about an assignment), please post it on the bulletin board instead of emailing. If your question is personal (e.g., about missing a test due to illness), please email your instructor.
  • Include the course number in the subject line. Also, try to use a good topic (e.g., "CSC263: A1 question about red-black trees").
  • Sign your full name.