CSE 3502: Introduction to the Theory of Computation
Fall 2017

  Prof. Dina Goldin
Computer Science & Engineering, UConn


Important Information 

Lecture Room: LH 301
Lecture Hours: MW 5-6:15PM

Instructor: Dina Goldin
Office: ITE 230
Office Hours: MW 4:15-4:45 PM,
    and after class by appointment              

TA: Anna Gorbenko

Email: anna.gorbenko@uconn.edu

Office Hours:  
Tue 4:30-5:30pm in ITE 140
Thu 3:30-4:30pm in ITE 230



·         Latest announcements

·         Lecture Notes

·         Homeworks and Handouts 

·         Course Description and Syllabus

·         Course Policy and Honor Code

·         Textbook

·         Miscellaneous Links

Course Description and Syllabus

Formal models of computation, such as finite state automata, pushdown automata, and Turing machines, and their corresponding elements in formal languages (regular, context-free, recursively enumerable). The complexity hierarchy. Church's thesis and undecidability. NP completeness. Theoretical basis of design and compiler construction. Prerequisite: CSE 2100, CSE 2500.

·         Course syllabus

Course Policy

There will be weekly short (5-minute) quizzes, weekly homeworks, a midterm and a final.  The final grade will be computed as follows:

homeworks                        35%
quizzes                               15%
midterm exam                   20%  
final exam                         30%

You are encouraged to discuss homework problems in a group. BUT write your own solutions and state on the paper with whom you have discussed the problems together.   The following criteria are important for judging the quality of a solution:

     correctness (of the whole solution, not just the final answer);
     clarity (being able to state your thoughts clearly using proper terminology);
     conciseness (do not include unnecessary or irrelevant information).

No late homeworks will be accepted.  The grade for two worst homeworks and two worst quizzes will be dropped, which will account for anyone having an illness, emergency, etc.

The University regulations and the CSE 3502 Honor Code will be applied to all cases of plagiarism and academic misconduct.

·         CSE 3502 Honor Code

Between lectures, we will communicate with you via the "announcements" page, linked at the top of this homepage.  Please check for new announcements regularly.

Homeworks and Handouts

All homeworks will be handed out on-line, in this section. Unless directed otherwise, they will be turned in in class, on paper.

·         Homework 0 (Questionnaire)

·         Homework 1 (Regular Expressions and FSAs), due Wednesday 9/13/17

·         Homework 2 (DFAs, proofs) due Wednesday 9/20/17

·         Homework 3 (NFAs and non-regular languages) due Wednesday 9/27/17

·         Homework 4 (Context Free Grammars) due Wednesday 10/4/17

·         Homework 5 (Push-Down Automata) due Wednesday 10/11/17

·         Practice Midterm (extra credit problem due Monday 10/16/17)

Lecture Notes

These notes are updated after each lecture. They will summarize what was covered in each lecture, tell you what to read, what to pay attention to, etc.

·         Lecture 1 (Introduction) – 8/28/17

·         Lecture 2 (Regular Expressions) – 8/30/17

·         Lecture 3 (Finite State Automata) – 9/6/17

·         Lecture 4 (DFAs and NFAs) – 9/11/17

·         Lecture 5 (REs to NFAs) – 9/13/17

·         Lecture 6 (Converting NFAs to DFAs) – 9/18/17

·         Lecture 7 (Non-regular Languages) – 9/20/17

·         Lecture 8 (Context-Free Grammars) – 9/25/17

·         Lecture 9 (CFG Properties) – 9/27/17

·         Lecture 10 (Push-Down Automata) – 10/2/17

·         Lecture 11 (Converting CFGs to PDAs) – 10/4/17

·         Lecture 12 (Converting PDAs to CFGs) – 10/9/17

·         Lecture 13 (Non-context-free Languages) – 10/11/17



Introduction to the Theory of Computation by Michael Sipser, 3rd edition
ISBN 113318779X (2nd ed. is fine as reading material, but not for homeworks)


·         Link to textbook website

·         Textbook link on Amazon

Note; the “LOOK INSIDE” feature on this website gives access to the full text for Chapter 0 of the textbook.

Miscellaneous Links


·         Why it’s better to take notes by hand.


This page last updated on 8/23/17