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Handout 1: Course Information

Each problem must be written up on a separate sheet (or sheets) of paper, since problems will be graded by separate graders. Mark the top of each sheet with the following:

  • your name,

  • the name of your recitation instructor,

  • the problem number,

  • the people you worked with on the problem (see Section 12), or “Collaborators: none”

if you solved the problem completely alone.

Be as clear and precise as possible in your write-up of solutions. Understandability of your answer is as desirable as correctness, because communication of technical material is an important skill.

A simple, direct analysis is worth more points than a convoluted one, both because it is sim- pler and less prone to error and because it is easier to read and understand. Sloppy answers will receive fewer points, even if they are correct, so make sure that your handwriting is legible. It is a good idea to copy over your solutions to hand in, which will make your work neater and give you a chance to do sanity checks and correct bugs.

A LaTeX template is available on the course web site for students who wish to submit type- written homework solutions.

Problem set grades will be privately available to students through the course web site. Grad- ing mistakes may happen. Students are encouraged to check their grades for correctness. You will have two weeks after grades are posted to notify your TA and correct any errors.


Describing Algorithms

You will often be called upon to “give an algorithm” to solve a certain problem. Giving an algo- rithm entails:

  • 1.

    A description of the algorithm in English and, if helpful, pseudocode.

  • 2.

    A proof (or argument) of the correctness of the algorithm.

  • 3.

    An analysis of the running time of the algorithm.

It is also suggested that you include at least one worked example or diagram to show more precisely how your algorithm works. Remember, your goal is to communicate. Graders will be instructed to take off points for convoluted and obtuse descriptions. If you cannot solve a problem, give a brief summary of any partial results.

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