dsa.jpg (4503 bytes) Syllabus



Contact Info


Final Grading






We will study intermediate and advanced data structures, computer algorithms, and the analysis of both using techniques from discrete mathematics. We will also study the implementation of these data structures and algorithms using the principles of generic programming and data abstraction.

Data structures and algorithms form a major component of any software system. When building such a system, a skilled computer scientist must make intelligent decisions about alternative techniques, choosing from existing data structures and algorithms or designing his/her own when necessary. While we will concentrate on the theoretical design and analysis of data structures and algorithms, we will reinforce the theory with working examples, laboratories, programming projects, and use of the C++ standard library.


 Main text (required):

Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C++, 2nd Edition
by Mark Allen Weiss

C++ reference (suggested):

The C++ Programming Language, 3rd Edition
by Bjarne Stroustrup
It is expected that you already own a good C++ reference book.  If you don not have one, you should get one immediately and this book is highly recommended.


See the class hour schedule for the time and place of your lecture section. You are responsible for all material and announcements made in lecture.  Exams and material may vary between lectures, so you must attend your assigned lecture.


See the class hour schedule for the time and place of your lab section. Labs will be weekly and attendance is required. Those who show up late for lab or those who leave early without completing the lab will not receive credit. Labs cannot be made up. The exams will contain material covered in labs.  Due to the size of the sections and the limited number of computers, you must attend your assigned lab section.  The TA will take attendance and you will not receive credit unless you attend your assigned section.

Programming Projects

Four programming projects will be assigned during the semester. Programs will be written in C++ using the standard library and must follow certain guidelines. Students may only collaborate to share design and debugging ideas or to spot compiler errors. Code may not be shared. Project submissions will be compared electronically using a variety of software tools to detect code similarity. Late submissions will not be accepted. Any project submitted after 11:59:59 PM on the due date will be given a grade of zero unless it is accompanied with an institute recognized letter. It is the students responsibility to verify that their project was properly submitted and accepted for grading.


During the semester, there will be three exams covering both the lecture and lab material.  With advanced notice, the exam schedule may be altered throughout the semester.  There will be no makeup exams given.  If you miss an exam you will receive a grade of zero.  To be exused from an exam, a student must present a doctor's note or a letter from the Dean.

Academic Integrity

It is very important that each student use his or her best judgment to ensure academic integrity in this class. We've outlined guidelines above concerning collaboration which everyone is expected to follow. Copying sections of another person's code for a project and copying answers from another person during an exam are considered cheating. Refer to the the Rensselaer Handbook for other various forms of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will be dealt with harshly.

Course Web Site

The course web site is http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~magdon/courses/csci2300_fall2000.html . It will include information about labs, exams, and projects. You should check it fairly often for updates.