Computer Science 501
Data Stuctures and Algorithm Analysis

Fall 2013, The College of Saint Rose



Dr. James D. Teresco, Albertus Hall 400-2, (518) 485-3755
Electronic mail: terescoj AT (best contact method)
Twitter: @JTeresco_StR_CS
Class URL: [Link]
Class hour: Wednesday 6:00-8:30, Albertus 205
Office hours: Monday 2:00-3:30, Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-2:15, Wednesdays immediately before and after class, by appointment


Everything on this syllabus is subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and updated in the online version of the syllabus.

Course Objectives

From the course catalog: "This course studies the implementation of abstract data structures and the efficiency analysis of algorithms. There will be required programming projects in C++ [though we will use Java instead]. Topics will include algorithm analysis, recursion, sorting, randomization, graph algorithms, hash tables, and the implementation of abstract data structures (lists, stacks, queues and trees)."



The text for the course is Java Structures: Data Structures in Java for the Principled Programmer, "Root 7" Edition (a free online textbook) by Duane Bailey. So there are no books to buy! You may print or view the text in Portable Document Format.


Everyone is expected to attend class and participate in discussions. There is no formal attendance policy, but a lack of regular attendance is certain to result in lower grades on assignments and exams. Do not expect sympathy if you are struggling but are rarely seen in class and during office hours. Supplemental readings are listed on the lecture and reading schedule. You will be responsible for all material in the reading, even if we do not specifically discuss each topic in class.

Be prompt, prepared, and ready to focus on the day's topics. This should go without saying, but this means your phones and other devices not being used exclusively to follow along with class materials and/or to take notes must be powered off. You may bring food or drink to class, as long as you are not a distraction to your classmates or instructor. When we have College computers out, no food or drink can be allowed.

Most lectures will include an assignment due at the start of the next class and/or an assignment we will complete during class. These will usually be designed to focus your attention on some aspects of the assigned readings. No late submissions of these "lecture assignments" will be accepted, as they will normally be discussed in class on the due date or immediately following the in-class exercise. Some assignments will be graded for correctness, while others will be graded based on whether an honest effort was made.

The lecture and reading schedule has a link to a web page for each lecture highlighting the day's topics, listing any class examples, assigned readings, and the lecture assignment due the next class. The notes used to guide in-class presentations are also available as PDF files linked from the lecture and reading schedule.

Labs and Project Assignments

We have the advantage of holding all of our class meetings in a computer lab. This allows a significant fraction of our class time to be used for lab activities. Time will be set aside during class meetings each week to get you started on lab exercises. It may be possible to complete some labs during the meeting, but most of the time you will need to continue to work on your own and turn them in a few days later. You may develop your programs anywhere (Computers in the labs, your own PC, etc.) but grading will be done using BlueJ on the Saint Rose Computer Science lab systems unless otherwise specified. It is your responsibility to ensure that your program works on the grading platform. Programs will be graded on design, documentation, style, correctness, and efficiency. You may discuss the labs with your classmates, but the work you submit must be your own (and that of group members, for work done in groups).

There will also be several formal programming projects, some of which will also include a written component. These projects will test the skills that you have developed in class and during regular lab assignments. They are to be treated as take-home exams, so you may only use the resources specifically permitted and may only discuss your approach and your solutions with your instructor.

Unless otherwise specified, late lab and project work may be turned in with a penalty computed as 1.08h%, where h is the number of hours late. Extensions will only be granted in serious situations. You can find a Java program that prints out a table of the late penalties here. Work turned in after solutions have been made available cannot receive credit.

All assignments are to be submitted electronically using the procedure specified on each lab or project handout. Please submit written work in portable formats (plain text where appropriate and PDF otherwise). If in doubt about a file format, please check before submitting. Keep a copy of all submissions for yourself.


There will be two written exams. A midterm will take place during our regular class time on October 9. The final exam will take place during our "finals week" meeting on December 11.


Grades for individual assignments and exams are not scaled. Any scaling deemed appropriate will take place at the end of the semester by adjusting the thresholds. The following thresholds may be adjusted downward (thereby raising grades) but will never be adjusted upward.


Lecture Assignments/In-class Exercises 10% A >= 93% A- >= 90%
Lab Activities 20% B+ >= 85% B >= 80%
Programming Projects 25% C >= 70%
Midterm Exam 20% F < 70%
Final Exam 25%

Please note the special grading policy is in effect for this course: in order to earn a grade of B or better for this course, you must have an average of B or better on the examinations, regardless of performance on labs, projects, and other assignments.

College policy forbids changing of course grades after they are submitted except in very specific cases (such as an error in grading of an assignment or in computation of a grade). Any such errors that slip through must be found and rectified quickly after grades are submitted. In rare circumstances, a student request for an incomplete grade may be approved at the discretion of the instructor. Requests must be made one week prior to the end of the semester, and terms of such arrangements must be mutually agreed upon before grades are submitted.


Every college student should be motivated to attend every lecture and lab meeting for all the right reasons (e.g., desire for knowledge, desire to get the most out of every very expensive minute, etc.). As college students, you understand that regular attendance is essential to your ability to master the course material.

Therefore, there is no formal attendance policy. You are expected to attend regularly, and should still see the instructor about any excused absences. An excused absence may be any of the following:

  1. A documented athletic or academic event that conflicts with a class meeting. The required paperwork must be presented in person at least one week prior to the event.
  2. A family emergency.
  3. Personal illness.

While there is no formal penalty for unexecused absences, missing class regularly will be considered a sign that you are not taking the course seriously. History shows that students who are frequently absent perform poorly on graded work. Do not expect compassion when final grades are assigned or extensive extra help if you do not understand a topic that was covered while you were absent without a valid excuse.

Disability Accomodations

If you are a student with a documented disability and require academic accommodations please register with Lynn Cantwell, the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, located in the Academic Support Center on the 2nd floor of St. Joseph Hall (campus extension 2335 or 518-337-2335, off campus) for disability verification and for determination of recommended reasonable academic accommodations. After you have made arrangements with that office, please see me to discuss your accommodations. Please remember that timely notice will help avoid a delay in your receipt of accommodations.

Academic Integrity

You are encouraged to discuss the concepts related to course assignments and exams with your classmates. This is an essential part of a healthy academic environment. However, work submitted for grading must be your own (or the combined work of group members, for group assignments). Any unauthorized copying or collaboration is considered a breach of academic integrity and will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty cases are unpleasant and uncomfortable for everyone involved. You are responsible for reading and understanding The College of Saint Rose Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity.

The minimum penalties for a first violation will include failure (0 grade) for the assignment or exam in question and the filing of a Academic Dishonesty Report Form with the Registrar's office. A second violation will result in failure of the course and a second Academic Dishonesty Report Form.

If there is any doubt about the degree of collaboration allowed or the permitted sources for a particular assignment, please ask for clarification before collaborating or consulting the source. Any such collaborations or sources must be cited properly.