CSCI 385 Fall 2015
Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms
Archived Class
Charles Cusack
Computer Science
Hope College



CSCI 125
CSCI 255
MATH 341


Grade Distribution

  • Exams
    • There will be one or two exams during the semester and one final exam.
    • The exams are equally weighted
    • You are expected to take them when they are scheduled.
  • Homework
    • There will be a veritable plethora of homework assignments.
    • The homework will consist of problems and/or programs. Some will be larger than others, but they will all be equally weighted.
    • Please review the relevant sections of the Policies page for additional details about my expectations for homework assignments.
    • Although you will learn a lot more by struggling through problems on your own, you may use External Sources for up to 50% credit on a problem. See the Policies page for more details.
  • Project The project will involve researching a topic, preparing readings/handouts about the topic, and creating a classroom activity related to the topic.
    • Early in the semester you will read sections of the book Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future. Your project will explore one of the topics in more detail. Other topics may be permitted, but be sure to ask ahead of time if you have another topic in mind.
    • We will have a brief discussion during class to choose topics. You will be asked to select your favorite two or three topics beforehand so we can be sure everyone gets assigned a different topic.
    • You will submit a full proposal for your project that includes which topic you will be exploring, a brief summary of exactly what about the topic you will explore in more detail, explain where you will get more information about the topic, and what you will do during your assigned class period (towards the middle/end of the semester) related to the topic. You will be expected to have prepared enough content for 35-40 minutes.
    • You will submit an annotated bibliography. See the resources under the heading Bibliography on the Writing Resources page.
    • You will prepare one or more readings/handouts related to your topic. They should be detailed enough so that your classmates can read them and get a pretty good understanding of the details of your topic. They should clearly go well beyond the level of detail from the Nine Algorithms book. You may find papers/websites/handouts online or you may write your own. Make sure you do not plagiarize! If you take content from somewhere, you must give credit! The most important thing is that you provide enough resources so that everyone can learn about the topic in detail without having to expend the amount of effort that you did. Your readings/handouts will be distributed to your classmates and given as reading assignments for the day we do your activity in class.
    • You will prepare an activity related to your topic. This can be a worksheet, a series of problems that the class works on, an interactive lecture (emphasis on interactive), or some other activity that gets the rest of the class actively engaged in the topic.
    • Finally, we will all participate in your activity during class later in the semester.
    See the schedule for deadlines related to the project.
  • SRQ
    SRQs will be required for this course. See the Policies page for details on how to write an SRQ. They should be submitted via handin using assignment 385SRQ by 8:00am.
  • Miscellaneous
    There are five main criteria, not necessarily equally weighted:
    1. Preparation. I expect you to prepare for every class, usually by reading one or more sections from the textbook. If I get the impression that you are not doing so, points will be deducted.
    2. Classroom discussion and activities. This includes attendance, how engaged you are during class, whether you are contributing to a positive learning environment or causing distractions, etc.
    3. Getting help when needed (Office Hours, etc.). Contrary to what some students may believe, it is a good thing to ask your professors questions when you get stuck. Thus, I want to encourage you to do so. If you are struggling with the material, whether or not you come to get help will be reflected in this part of your grade.
    4. Colloquium attendance. You must attend at least 75% of the colloquiums to not get marked down.
    5. SALT. If you do not complete the SALT by the Friday before exam week you will lose points.