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CSC301.01 2017F

Warning! The class site is currently under development. Expect things to change significantly.

Samuel A. Rebelsky
Meeting Times
MWF 11:00–11:50am
Office Hours
TuTh 1:30-3:00 p.m.
I also tend to follow an open door policy: Feel free to stop by when my door is open to to make an appointment for another time.
Class Mentors
  • Yuxi Deng

About this course

Welcome to the Fall 2015 section of Grinnell College’s CSC 301 - Algorithm Analysis. CSC 301 is the department’s advanced course in algorithms and serves as a successor to CSC 207, Algorithms and Object-Oriented Design. In this course, we will work to develop your skills in the design, implementation, analysis, and verification of algorithms, abstract data types, and data structures.

Along the way, we will consider a variety of classic algorithms, ADTs, and data structures - the “literature” of CS, as it were. Why do we read the literature? Because knowing how problems have been solved in the past helps us solve future problems. A not-so-recent article on mathematics suggests the value of knowing the literature.

Yet, as they told me, the proof [of the Green-Tao Theorem] depended on the insights of many other mathematicians. In the game of devil’s chess [mathematics], players have no real hope if they haven’t studied the winning games of the masters. A proof establishes facts that can be used in subsequent proofs, but it also offers a set of moves and strategies that forced the devil to submit — a devious way to pin one of his pieces or shut down a counterattack, or an endgame move that sacrifices a bishop to gain a winning position. Just as a chess player might examine variations of the Ruy Lopez and King’s Indian Defense, a mathematician might study particularly clever applications of the Chinese remainder theorem or the sieve of Eratosthenes. The wise player has a vast repertoire to draw on, and the crafty player intuits the move that suits the moment.

Cook, Gareth (2015). The Singular Mind of Terry Tao. The New York Times Magazine. 26 July 2015. Available online at

This course will certainly expand your “repertoire to draw on”.