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CS154Spring 2007Sec3Home Page/Syllabus
Formal Languages and Computability
Instructor:
Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Email:
cpollett@gmail.com
Office Hours:MW 3:00pm5:30pm
Class Meets:
Sec3 MW 12:00pm1:15pm in MH222

To take this class you must have taken:
MA42
and
CS46B
with a grade of C or better.
This course covers the basics of finite automata,
contextfree languages, Turing machines, computability. Finite automata are used in the
lexical analysis part of a compiler, and are also used for string matching, and for simple
AIs in video games. Contextfree languages are used for parsing in compilers. XML is a currently
trendy language for defining essentially contextfree languages. Computability is the study
of what it is possibility to get a computer to do. In computability theory, we use an abstract
model of a computer called a Turing Machine and study what it can and cannot do.
By the end of this course, you should be
able to:
(1) Write a grammar for a language described otherwise.
(2) Construct deterministic and nondeterministic machines for various languages.
(3) Describe a language in terms of a regular expression.
(4) Find a regular expression for a language described by a finite automaton and conversely.
(5) Construct a deterministic finite automaton from a nondeterministic one.
(6) Minimize a deterministic automaton.
(7) Be able to use a pumping lemma to show that some languages are not regular and/or not contextfree.
Use closure properties to simplify proofs of nonregularity of languages.
(8) Be able to construct a pushdown automaton accepting a given language.
(9) Construct a Turing machine accepting some simple languages.
(10) State in precise mathematical terms what is meant by undecidability of the Halting Problem, and be able to show the undecidability of simple extensions of the Halting Problem, using the reduction technique.
Below is a tentative time table for when we'll do things this quarter:
Week 1:
Jan 24 
Read Ch 1.11.2

Week 2:
Jan 29, Jan 31 
Finish Ch1. Read 2.12.2

Week 3:
Feb 5, Feb 7 
Finish Ch 2

Week 4:
Feb 12, Feb 14 
Read Ch 3.

Week 5:
Feb 19, Feb 21 
Read Ch 4.

Week 6:
Feb 26, Feb 28 
Read Ch 5.

Week 7:
Mar 5, Mar 7 
Review.

Week 8:
Mar 12, Mar 14 
Read Ch 6.

Week 9:
Mar 19, Mar 21 
Read Ch 7.

Week 10:
Mar 26, Mar 28 
March Break. Holiday Week.

Week 11:
Apr 2, Apr 4 
Read Ch 8

Week 12:
Apr 9, Apr 11 
Read Ch 9

Week 13:
Apr 16, Apr 18 
Review.

Week 14:
Apr 23, Apr 25 
Read Ch 10

Week 15:
Apr 30, May 2 
Read Ch 11, 12.1

Week 16:
May 7, May 9 
Finish Ch 12. Review.

Week 17:
May 14 
Practice Final.


The final will be Tuesday, May 22 from 9:45am to 12:00pm 
Homeworks 
40%

Midterm 1 
15%

Midterm 2 
15%

Final 
30%

Total  100% 
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 cutoff for a C. The region between this high and low score will be divided into eight equalsized regions.
From the top region to the low region, a score falling within a region receives the grade: A, A, B+, B, B, C+, C, C.
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.
Links to the current list of assignments 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. The written and
programming parts of an assignment are submitted by clicking on the submit homework
link
for your section on the left hand side of the homepage and filling out the online
form.
Hardcopies or email 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; however, your low homework score 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. In addition, you should make sure your code
conforms
with the Departmental Java Coding Guidelines. This will be worth one point on every assignment
for which there is Java coding.
For this class we will be using, a Java program called JFLAP to help you experiment
with and create the machines we will be considering in this class. A link to where
this program can be obtained is under the Text and Links section above.
The written part of each homework should be turned in as a PDF file. A link to a free PDF converter
can also be found under the Text and Links section above. I expect the PDF files you submit
to be as small as possible. No homework file you submit should exceed 1Mb. Be aware
that if you include uncompressed image files (BMP rather than JPG, PNG or GIF)
into a Word document, you might be making that
document unnecessarily large.
The midterms will be during class time on:
Mar 7 and Apr 18.
The final will be: Tuesday, May 22 from 9:45am to 12:00pm.
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. Beeper or cellphone interruptions will result in immediate excusal
from the test. The final will
cover material from the whole quarter 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.
If you believe an error was made in the grading of your program or exam, you
may request in person a regrade from me, Professor Pollett,
during my office hours. I do not accept email requests for
regrades.
A request for a regrade must be made no more than a week after the homework or a midterm is
returned. If you cannot find me before the end of the semester and you would like to request a
regrade of your final, you may see me in person at the start of the immediately following
semester.
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at
San Jose State University, and the University's Academic Integrity
Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic
course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions
to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on
academic integrity can be found at
http://sa.sjsu.edu/student_conduct.
Specifically, for this class, you should obviously not cheat on tests. For homeworks,
you should not discuss or share code or problem solutions between groups!
At a minimum a 0 on the assignment or test will be given. A student
caught using resources like Rentacoder will receive
an F for the course and be referred to University for disciplinary action.
The campus policy to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is:
"If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an
appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 9703 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to
establish a record of their disability."
More information about SJSU policies and procedures can be found at the following links:
