This course covers the basics of randomized algorithms, parallel algorithms, distributed algorithms, algorithms related to the theory of NP-completeness, and approximation algorithms. Randomized algorithms are algorithms which make use of a random number generator. For instance, one fast way to check if a number is prime makes of such a generator. Parallel algorithms are algorithms which are designed to be partitionable with minimal overhead among many processors who share a global clock. Distributed algorithms are algorithms designed to work on multiple processors which don't share a global clock. An example situation might be to get an algorithm to get a bunch of computers on a network to agree on a common value. NP problems are languages with polynomial time proofs of membership. For instance, given a potential factorization of a number we can in polynomial time check whether it is correct. NP-complete problems are problems in NP to which any other problem in NP can polynomially time reduced. We will consider different algorithms for during this kind of reduction. Approximations algorithms are usually efficient algorithms which approximately solve some optimization problem which is not known to have a efficient solutions. For instance, one might have an algorithm which approximately finds a traveling salesman tour. In addition to these algorithms, we will also go over the computer algebra algorithms neccessary to do basic cryptographic protocols such as RSA. By the end of this course, you should be able to code one example of a randomized algorithm, parallel algorithm, distributed algorithm, a polynomial time reduction, an approximation algorithm, and a computer algebra algorithm.

By the end of this course, a student should be able to:

**CLO1** -- Analyze or code a randomized algorithm

**CLO2** -- Analyze or code a parallel algorithm using a thread library

**CLO3** -- Analyze or code a parallel algorithm using a library such as OpenCL

**CLO4** -- Analyze the correctness and run time of a distributed algorithm

**CLO5** -- Given a problem within NP that is promised to be either in P or NP-complete prove which it is

**CLO6** -- Analyze or code a number theoretic algorithm

**CLO7** -- Analyze or code an approximation algorithm for a optimization problem whose decision problem is NP-complete.

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: The person or persons with the highest
aggregate score will receive an A+. A score of 55 will be the cut-off for a B-. The region
between this high and low score will be divided into five equal-sized regions. From the top
region to the low region, a score falling within a region receives the grade: A, A-, B+, B, B-.
If the boundary between an A and an A- is 85, then the score 85 counts as an A-. Scores below
55 but above 50 receive the grade D. Those below 50 receive the grade F.

If you do better than an A- in this class and want me to write you a letter of recommendation, I will generally
be willing provided
you ask me within two years of taking my course.
Be advised that I write better letters if I know you to some degree.

This semester we will have five homeworks, weekly quizzes, and weekly in-class exercises.

Every Monday this semester, except the first day of class, the Midterm Review Day, and holidays,
there will be a quiz on the previous week's material. The answer to the quiz will either be multiple choice, true-false,
or a simple numeric answer that does not require a calculator. Each quiz is worth a maximum of
1pt with no partial credit being given. Out of the total of twelve quizzes this semester,
I will keep your ten best scores.

On Wednesday's, we will spend 15-20 minutes of class on an in-class exercise. You will be asked to post your
solution to these exercises to the class discussion board. Doing so is worth 1 "pre-point" towards your grade.
A "pre-point" can be used to get one missed point back on a midterm or final, up to half
of that test's total score. For example, if you scored 0 on the midterm and have 10 pre-points, you
can use your pre-points, so that your midterm score is a 10. On the other hand, if you score 18/20
on the midterm, you can use at most 1 pre-point since half of what you missed (2pts) on the midterm is
1pt.

Links to the current list of homeworks and quizzes can be found on the left hand frame of the
class homepage. After an assignment has been returned, a link to its solution (based on the
best student solutions) will be placed off the assignment page. Material from assignments may
appear on midterms and finals. **For homeworks you are encouraged to work in groups of up to
three people. Only one person out of this group needs to submit the homework assignment; however,
the members of the group need to be clearly identified in all submitted files.**

Homeworks for this class will be submitted and returned completely electronically. To submit
an assignment click on the submit homework link for your section on the left hand side of the
homepage and filling out the on-line form. Hardcopies or e-mail versions of your assignments
will be rejected and not receive credit. Homeworks will always be due by the start of class on
the day their due. Late homeworks will not be accepted and missed quizzes cannot be made up;
however, your lowest score amongst the five homeworks and your quiz total will be dropped.

When doing the programming part of an assignment please make sure to adhere to the
specification given as closely as possible. Names of files should be as given, etc.
Failure to follow the specification may result in your homework not being graded and
you receiving a zero for your work.

I will start lecturing close to the official start time for this class modulo getting
tangled up in any audio/visual presentation tools I am using. Once I start lecturing,
please refrain from talking to each other, answering your cell phone, etc. If something
I am talking about is unclear to you, feel free to ask a question about it. Typically,
on practice tests days, you will get to work in groups, and in so doing, turn your desks facing
each other, etc. Please return your desks back to the way they were at the end of
class. This class has an online class discussion board which can be used to post
questions relating to the homework and tests. Please keep discussions on this
board civil. This board will be moderated. Class and discussion board participation,
although not a component of your grade, will be considered if you ask me to write you
a letter of recommendation.

The midterm will be during class time on:
Mar 14.

The final will be: Tuesday, May 22 from 12:15pm-2:30pm.

All exams are closed book,
closed notes and in this classroom. You will
be allowed only the test and your pen or pencil on your desk during these
exams. The final will
cover material from the whole semester although there will be an emphasis on
material after the last midterm. No make ups will be given. The final exam
may be scaled to replace a midterm grade if it was missed under provably
legitimate circumstances. These exams will test whether or not you
have mastered the material both presented in
class or assigned as homework during the quarter. My exams usually consist
of a series of essay style questions. I try to avoid
making tricky problems. The week before each exam I will give out a
list of problems representative of the level of difficulty of problems the
student will be expected to answer on the exam. Any disputes concerning
grades on exams should be directed to me, Professor Pollett.