University of Utah

School of Computing

Foundations of Computer Science

CS 6100 / CS 5100

Spring Semester 2015

WEB L126   TH 10:45-12:05

Instructor: Thomas C. Henderson

Overview of Course

Course Objectives

The following lists the goals for the foundations of computer science course:


The prerequisite is successful completion of CS CS 3100 and 4150 or equivalent.

Course Description

We will work on the problems and solutions in automata theory and complexity theory.  

Software Used to Support Class


Required Materials

We will use:

Sipser . Introduction to the Theory of Computation, PWS, 3rd Edition (required)


There are 2 major types of assignments (use the Lab Report Format for Problem Assignment reports):

Class Syllabus

You must read the assigned material before the class discussion, and the lectures will cover the text on the following schedule (may vary some during semester to accommodate progress):



  Material (Sipser )

     Problem Assignments




January 13-15



Chapter 0

Assigned: A1

January 20-22

Regular Languages

Chapter 1

Assigned: A2

Jan 27 - Feb 5

Context-Free Languages

Chapter 2

Assigned: A3

February 10-19

The Church-Turing Thesis

Chapter 3

Assigned: A4

Feb 24 - Mar 5


Chapter 4

Assigned: A5

March 10-12


Chapter 5

Assigned: A6

March 17-19

Spring Break

March 24 - Apr 9

Advanced Topics in Computability

Chapter 6

Assigned: A7a, A7b

April 14-16

Time Complexity

Chapter 7

Assigned:  A8

April 21-23

Time Complexity

Chapter 7

Assigned: A9

April 28

Space Complexity

Chapter 8

Assigned: A10


Class Schedule and Assignments

The lectures and assignments will cover the text as we progress through the semester.  Assignments will usually be handed out on Tuesday and due on a Thursday after the material is covered.



Thomas C. Henderson, Professor






Office Hours (2871 WEB): By appointment.


Anshul Joshi, PhD student






Office Hours (Student Office, WEB): By appointment.


Grading Information

The grading distribution will be as follows:

You are expected to make a good effort on all assignments and in-class discussion based on a careful reading of the assigned material.  I will assign a grade based on how reasonable your solution is given the difficulty of the assignment, the time required, and the style and content of the solution.  My goal is to look at all your work, and to assign a grade based on your participation, effort and results.  It's better to ask questions before and during an assignment, than to try and understand what went wrong after it's due.  The proportions given above delineate how I intend to apportion the weight of the various work in the course. The lowest (non-E) grade will be dropped to determine both the overall assignment and quiz grades.

Assignment Due Time

Unless otherwise stated in an assignment, all assignments will be due by classtime on the assignment due date.   You should handin PDF's and code.  The time that we use for an assignment is the submit time.  I may ask for supporting material as well (figures, math analysis, etc.). To handin assignments electronically, use the 'handin' utility available in the CADE lab. E.g., to turn in assignment 1, type: handin cs6100 A1 A1.pdf (WebHandin can also be used:

Appeals Procedure

See the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or the Class Schedule for more details.

Appeals of Grades and other Academic Actions

If a student believes that an academic action is arbitrary or capricious he/she should discuss the action with the involved faculty member and attempt to resolve.  If unable to resolve, the student may appeal the action in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. Appeal to Department Chair who should be notified in writing within 40 working days; chair must notify student of a decision with 15 days.  If faculty member or student disagrees with decision, then,
  2. Appeal to Academic Appeals Committee (see flyers posted in MEB and EMCB for members of committee).  See II Section D, Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for details on Academic Appeals Committee hearings.

Assignment Late Policy

No late work is accepted. 

Individual Work

The purpose of the assignments is to improve your skills at solving problems and demonstrating that you understand the class material. Collaboration with other class members is acceptable in understanding problems or software tools. For any individual assignments or work turned in, you must do your own work. Using someone else's work or giving someone else your work is considered plagiarism and will be dealt with using standard College and University procedures (i.e., failure of assignment and class). The SoC policy states: "As defined in the University Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, cheating, misrepresenting one's work, inappropriately collaborating, plagiarism, and fabrication or falsification of information. It also includes facilitating academic misconduct by intentionally helping or attempting to help another student to commit an act of academic misconduct. A primary example of academic misconduct would be submitting as one's own, work that is copied from an outside source." (See cheating_policy.pdf and SoC_ack_form.pdf in Link to Class Info and Docs.)


See university web page for the full academic calendar (Calendar web page).  See the university web page for a copy of the withdraw guidelines as well, or see the Student Code.

See the college web page for more Guidelines.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The University conforms to all standards of the ADA. If you wish to qualify for exemptions under this act, notify the Center for Disabled Students Services, 160 Union
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities.  If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD).  CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.

All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability  Services.