CS286: Algorithms

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Spring Quarter 2002

This course extends the study of algorithms introduced in CS-285. Topics include searching, sorting, selection, graph structures, and traversal algorithms. Applications such as dynamic memory management, data compression, optimization problems, and database indexing are also discussed. Laboratory activities include the implementation and comparison of problem-specific algorithms, as well as the use of generic algorithms from the C++ standard library. (prereq: CS-285, SE-280) (2-2-3)


On successful completion of this course, the student will:

  • Be able to use generic algorithms from the STL and implement additional generic algorithms.
  • Be able to apply asymptotic time complexity analysis to choose among competing algorithms.
  • Understand how sorting algorithms such as heapsort and quicksort work.
  • Understand how graph and tree structures are implemented.
  • Be familiar with engineering applications for many of the fundamental algorithms discussed in the course.
  • Be familiar with dynamic programming.

The above course description and goals were taken from the official course description.

General Course Policies

Please review the general course policies webpage.


Introduction to Algorithms e/2, by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein, MIT Press and McGraw-Hill, 2001. (errata list)

My Schedule

Time Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
10:00         Fac Sen
11:00 Lunch w/ Students* XX
12:00 EEC Lunch w/ Students*
1:00 DEPT MTG Office Hour Office Hour
2:00   CS286L CC53
3:00 CS286 CC49 CS286 CC49
4:00 CS183 CC48 CS183 CC48  

* I would like to have lunch with you individually or as a group to get to know you better. If we eat in RWJ, housing will pick up my lunch bill. If you would prefer to eat elsewhere, we will each be responsible for our own bill. Feel free to suggest another time if the times above do not work for you.


You will be required to complete the PSP spreadsheet for each lab assignment. The spreadsheet filename should begin with your MSOE login. In addition, you should make a hyper-link to the spreadsheet from within your report. This can be done with the following line:

<a href="taylorPSPLab1.xls">PSP data for lab 1</a>
A zip archive containing the spreadsheet and your report (and any additional files) should be created and submitted using the submission webpage


Homework assignments will be given throughout the quarter. You are encouraged to work on the homework in groups, but you should not turn in any solutions that you do not understand completely (I may quiz you on what you submit). At least 25% of the midterm and final will be problems from the homework or directly related to homework problems.

Each problem will be graded on the following scale:

  • -3 points: substantially incorrect
  • 0 points: minor mistakes, unorganized, or unclear
  • 3 points: Clearly presented and correct
When calculating your final grade, I will add your average homework problem score to your lab/exam grade. For example, suppose your grade for all exams and lab assignments is 86.3%. If you do not turn in any homework, your final grade will be 83.3% (BC). If you submit correct and clearly presented solutions to all of the problems, your final grade will be 89.3% (AB).


Lab projects:


Midterm Exam (April 9):


Final exam:




Note: your exam scores must average above 50% in order to pass this course.

Tentative Schedule

© 2001-2002 Dr. Christopher C. Taylor Office: CC-27C Phone: 277-7339 Last Updated: Tue Mar 5 18:28:16 2002
I am responsible for all content posted on these pages; MSOE is welcome to share these opinions but may not want to.