ICS 311 Spring 2018 General Course Information

Catalog Description

ICS 311 Algorithms (4 credits) Design and correctness of algorithms, including divide-and-conquer, greedy and dynamic programming methods. Complexity analyses using recurrence relations, probabilistic methods, and NP-completeness. Applications to order statistics, disjoint sets, B-trees and balanced trees, graphs, network flows, and string matching. Pre: 211 and 241, or consent.

Course-specific Student Learning Outcomes

Program Student Outcomes

Important: Do not approach this course solely as a memorization task, where you can only do algorithms you are trained to do, like a circus animal. We want you to learn a "catalog" of algorithms, but you should also understand their analyses as examples that enable you to analyze unexpected algorithms in the future. This is essential for being successful in a fast changing field where you are expected to figure out whether a new idea will work, as you will be the computer scientist hired to do this.


Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest and Clifford Stein, Introduction to Algorithms, Third Edition, The MIT Press, 2009.

Students are advised to purchase the textbook, as this book will serve as a lifelong reference. It is the second most cited publication in computer science!

Students are expected to know the material from prerequisite courses: ICS 141, 241, 111, 211, which will be heavily used in this course. Students are advised to keep their ICS 241 (Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science) textbooks for reference.


Nodari Sitchinava
Assistant Professor of ICS

Teaching Assistant

Kyle Berney
PhD Student in ICS

Ben Karsin
PhD Student in ICS

Lecture Time & Location


Questions about Course Content
In general, questions about course content such as concepts, clarifications of assignments, etc. should be posted to the Laulima discussion forum of the week. This is because (1) other students can see our responses there, and thus also benefit; and (2) other students may notice the question and answer before the instructor or TA notices it. If you email us a question, we will post the reply in Laulima unless personal information is involved.
Personal Topics
For topics that are not of interest to other students or are personal, you may email us, or stop by office hours. (Of course you may also use office hours for course content questions.) If using email, put "ICS 311" in the subject line.
Communication with other students (e.g., group members)
You can send email to other students in the course using the Laulima "Mailtool". You don't need to know their real email address to do this.

Online Media

We use the course website www2.hawaii.edu/~nodari/teaching/s18/ for posting schedules and notes.

We use Laulima for all other online required course functions such as podcasts, discussions. Please see this document on everything Laulima users should know.

We will use Google Docs for in-class problem solving, as it supports simultaneous editing.

Screencasts (videos) of lectures are available on YouTube and Laulima (your choice). They are linked from the individual Notes pages (the pages named Topic-XX.html).

Nodari Sitchinava (based on material by Dan Suthers)