# MCS 441 Theory of Computation

## Fall 2004

Instructor: David Marker
Call Number: 12360/20461
Class Meets: 10:00 MWF 307 AH
Office: 411 SEO
Office Hours: M 11-12, W 9-10, 4-5
phone: (312) 996-3069
e-mail: marker@math.uic.edu
course webpage: http://www.math.uic.edu/~marker/mcs441

#### Text

• Michael Sipser, Introduction to the Theory of Computation, PWS Publication Co, 1996.
We will cover chapters 1--4 of the text.

#### Prerequisites

Grade of C or better in CS 202 or grade of C or better in MCS 261.

#### Description

The key questions in theoretical computer science are:
• What can a computer do in principle?
• What can a computer do efficiently?
This course will focus on the first question. We will introduces several, progressively stronger, models of computation:
• finite automata
• nondetermistic automata
• pushdown automata
• Turing machines
For each of these models we will examine what they can and can not do.

#### Problem Sets

There will be frequent homework assignments. This a theoretical course and it is expected that in addition to designing and analyzing machines students will be required to write proofs. Late homework will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances.

• There will be one midterm exam. The midterm will count for 30% of your final grade. The midterm exam will be on Friday October 15.
• The final exam will count for 50% of your final grade. The final exam will be Wed December 8 at 8:00 am
• Homework will count for 20% of your final grade. The 2 lowest homework scores will be dropped.

#### Homework Assignments

• Problem Set 1 (Due: Friday September 3): 1.2, 1.3, 1.4) d,e,i,j
• Problem Set 2 (Due: Friday September 10): 1.5) a,b,c,d,e, 1.6) a, 1.7) a, 1.8) b
• Problem Set 3 (Due: Friday September 17): 1.9, 1.12, 1.13
• Problem Set 4 (Due: Friday September 24): 1.14, 1.16, 1.17 a,c
• Problem Set 5 (Due: Friday October 1): 1.23, 1.24, 1.36
• Problem Set 6 (Due: Friday October 8): 2.1, 2.3, 2.4
• Problem Set 7 (Due: Friday October 22): 2.5 d),e),f); 2.6 give a context free grammar and/or a PDA for at least two of a,b,c,d; 2.10, 2.11, 2.18 a), b)
• Problem Set 8 (Due: Friday October 29): 2.13, 3.1,3.2
• Problem Set 9 (Due: Friday November 5): 3.5, 3.8;
• Problem Set 10 (Due: Friday Novemeber 12)
• Problem Set 11 (Due: Friday November 19): 3.6, 3.7, 3.15c), 3.16, 3.19,
• Problem Set 12 (Due: Wednesday December 1)