CPSC 329:
Automata Theory

   Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
   Hobart and William Smith Colleges

   Winter, 1997.

   Instructor:  David J. Eck.

   Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 12:00 -- 1:10.
   Room Lansing 300.

About CS329

This course is an introduction to the theoretical foundations of Computer Science. We will study different types of automata (abstract computing machines) and their computational abilities. We will also investigate the deep connection between computation and languages.

The text for the course is An Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata, by Peter Linz.

Homework Assignments

There will be weekly homework assignments, which will be collected and graded. A few of the homework problems might involve writing short programs, but this is not a programming class and there will be no major programming assignments.

There will be a few individual class presentations of homework solutions or other material. These will be graded as part of your homework grade.


There will be two tests. Each test will have an in-class part and a take-home part. The in-class parts of the tests are scheduled for Friday, February 7 and Monday, March 10. The take-home parts of each tests will be given out on the day the in-class part is given, and will be due on Friday of the same week. The main difference between take-home tests and homework assignments is that you are not allowed to have any discussion about take-home tests with other people.

There will be no final exam.


Your grade for the course will be computed as follows:

            First Test:        30%
            Second Test:       30%
            Assignments:       40%

Office Hours and E-mail

My office is room 301 in Lansing Hall. My office phone extension is 3398. I am on campus most days, and you are welcome to come in anytime you can find me there. I will announce regular office hours (when I promise to try my best to definitely be in my office) as soon as I schedule them.

My e-mail address is ECK (or eck@hws.edu from off-campus). E-mail is good way to communicate with me, since I usually answer messages the day I receive them.