During office hours, if it's not too busy, I'll answer my phone at 617-353-8925. Other times, I generally let phone calls go to voicemail. Please send email instead.

The class will be co-taught by Professors Byers and Erdos. On any given lecture date, one of the two instructors will deliver the lecture for both the A1 and B1 sections. The TFs will lead the discussion sessions. The objective is to reinforce the concepts covered in the lectures through problem-solving, and to provide clarifications and guidance on the homework assignments. The purpose of the office hours of the Instructors and Teaching Fellows is to answer specific questions or clarify specific issues. Your fastest route to get an answer to most questions is via Piazza. Office hours are not to be used to fill you in on a class you skipped or to re-explain entire topics. Office hours are scheduled at times to provide the most help to students who start the homework before the last minute.

Lecture B1: Tues/Thurs 9:30 - 10:45 AM, KCB 101.

We expect students to come to class, and to come on time. While the class is large, class participation and questions will be encouraged. Also, while our textbook will be very helpful, it is an imperfect substitute for in-class learning, which is the fastest (and easiest) way to learn the material. If you miss a class, please get the notes and work through the material with a fellow student.

Lab A3: Mon 10:10 - 11:00AM (Mark)

Lab A4: Mon 12:20 - 1:10PM (Mark)

Lab B2: Mon 1:25 - 2:15PM (Maryam)

Lab B3: Mon 4:40 - 5:30PM (Maryam)

Lab B4: Mon 2:30 - 3:20PM (Maryam)

Labs will be an invaluable part of the course involving interactive problem-solving sessions, tips on homework questions, and supplemental material not covered in lecture. We will post labs on Piazza in advance -- please read before coming to lab. Attendance is mandatory and will be taken. Lab solutions will be posted on Monday evening after all labs conclude.

- 35% homework assignments, due on Thursdays 1/26, 2/9, 2/23, 3/16, 3/30, Tuesday 4/18, and Tuesday 5/2.
- 5% attendance and participation in lecture, lab, and on Piazza.
- 25% in-class midterm exam (most likely in-class on Thursday 3/2).
- 35% comprehensive final, in the normal exam slot for classes in our respective time blocks.

**
Workload:
**
Be forewarned -- the workload in this course will be moderately heavy.
We will have seven assignments, plus or minus one, due roughly every other week.
The majority of the assignments will consist of problem sets, but some
of the problems will contain small-scale implementations and simulations,
especially later in the semester. These can readily be done in a language
of your choice -- for example, either Java or Python is fine.
As you likely already know, assignments requiring substantial creativity
can take more time than you expect, so plan to finish a day early.

**
Exams:
**
There will be one eighty minute in-class midterm held during the
middle of the semester before spring break, on Thursday, March 2. The
cumulative final will be held during the normal two-hour final exam slot:
Tuesday May 9, 9-11AM for students in the 9:30AM lecture and
Thursday May 11, 12:30 - 2:30PM for students in the 11AM lecture. Both in KCB 101.
Please make your spring break and end-of-semester travel plans accordingly.

**Homework Submission: **
Assignments will typically be due Thursdays at 7PM.
You must submit a hardcopy no later than 7PM
in the drop box on the first floor of the MCS building, near
the CS department office. From the CS office, walk toward the shorter end
of the hallway, and turn right. Drop box is immediately on your right.
Assignments must go *in the box*, not on the shelves
above, which is where we will *return* assignments.
LET ME REPEAT: Assignments must go *in the box*, not on the shelves
above, which is where we will *return* assignments.

**
Late Policy: **
During the course, you will have 2 chances to turn in assignments up to 22 hours late with no
penalty, with Friday 5PM *in the drop box* as the cutoff (hard deadline). Any assignment arriving
between Thursday 7PM and Friday 5PM is considered late.

**Regrading Procedure: **
If, after reviewing your solution, you still believe a portion
of your homework was graded in error, you may request a regrade. Please
write, on a PostIt, the problem number and a brief description of the
incorrect deduction, stick it on your homework, and give it to one of the
instructors for a regrade. Note that when we regrade a problem, your score
may go up or down.

** Attendance: **
It is expected that you will attend lecture and the
laboratory section for this course. Attendance will be taken in labs.
Some material covered in lecture and lab will not be covered by
our textbooks. We ask that you please arrive in class on time,
since it is disruptive to have students flowing in throughout the class
period. Moreover, when students are at a borderline between grades, we will
factor in attendance before making a final determination.

- Course overview. Stable matching, implementation, running times.
- Graphs and basic graph algorithms (2 weeks)
- Greedy algorithms for optimization problems (2 weeks)
- Divide-and-conquer; fast multiplication of integers, matrices, and polynomials (2 weeks)
- Dynamic programming for optimization problems (2 weeks)
- Max-flow/min-cut
- Optimization problems for which no polynomial time algorithms are known; introduction to NP (2 weeks)
- Lower bounds and approximation algorithms
- Local search and heuristic approaches
- Randomized algorithms, including median-finding and order statistics

- You are encouraged to collaborate with one another in studying the textbook and lecture material.
- As long as it satisfies the following conditions, collaboration on the homework assignments is permitted and will not reduce your grade:
- Before discussing each homework problem with anyone else, you must give it an honest half-hour of serious thought.
- You may discuss ideas and approaches with other students in the class, but not share any
written solutions. In other words, the writeups you submit must be entirely your own work.
You must also
**acknowledge clearly in the appropriate portion of your solutions**(e.g., at the top of your writeups) people with whom you discussed ideas for that portion. - You may get help from TFs and undergrad assistants for the class for specific problems. Don't expect them to do it for you, however.
- You may not work with people outside this class (but come and talk to us if you have a tutor), seek on-line solutions, get someone else to do it for you, etc.

- You are not permitted to collaborate on exams.