Computer Sciences Dept.

CS 577 - Introduction to Algorithms

Fall 2012 - Section 2
Picture of Kleinberg-Tardos cover

Course Description

This course provides an undergraduate-level introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms. The main focus lies on techniques for constructing correct efficient algorithms and on tools to reason about them. Design paradigms include greed, divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, reductions, and the use of randomness. A second focus point is computational intractability. NP-complete problems are covered, as well as ways to deal with them.

The course forms a foundation for all areas of computer science. The particular computational problems discussed have applications in artificial intelligence, computational biology, compiler construction, hardware and network protocols, and optimization.


Jon Kleinberg and Eva Tardos, Algorithm Design, Addison-Wesley, 2006.


CS 240 (Discrete Mathematics), and CS 367 (Data Structures) are essential prerequisites.

A self-calibration homework is handed out during the first lecture.

Course Work

  • Homework (50%). There will be assignments every other week. Expect the problems to be challenging. You are allowed to work on the problems in groups of two, in which case you turn in a single copy for the group and both of you receive the same score. No sources other than the instructor, the TA, and your fellow students in the course are allowed. Model solutions will be handed out during the lecture in which the homework is due, so no late assignments can be accepted. The lowest score will be dropped.

  • Exams: Midterm (20%) on R 10/25, 7:15-9:15pm. Final (30%) on N 12/16, 7:45-9:45am. Both exams are closed book and closed notes.


The following book is on reserve in Wendt library:

  • T. Cormen, C. Leiserson, R. Rivest, and C. Stein, Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd edition, 2009.
In case you need to refresh discrete math, the text book used for Math 240 is also on reserve:
  • K. Rosen, Discrete Mathematics and its Applications, 4th edition, 2003.

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