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CS 341: Algorithms, Winter 2017

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Contents: Announcements, General Info, Organization, Lecture Topics, Assignments, Resources, University Policies


March 27:

March 18:

March 14:

March 10:

March 07:

February 28:

February 20:

February 16:

February 13:

February 10:

February 06:

February 04:

February 03:

January 28:

January 20:

January 18: Yaoliang's slides for week 3 are now available.

January 17:

January 13:

January 10: Lecture topics for week 2 have been posted.

January 09: LaTeX file for assignment 1 is available.(See assignments section)

January 06: Assignment 1 is now available. It is due Jan 20. (See assignments section)

January 04: Piazza will be used for all course discussions.

General Information



Douglas Stinson, DC 3522, x35590, dstinson "at" uwaterloo.ca
Office hours: Thursdays, DC 3522, 01:30-02:30 p.m.

Semih Salihoglu, DC 3351, x37522, semih.salihoglu "at" uwaterloo.ca
Office hours: Wednesdays, DC 3351, 11:00-12:00 p.m.

Yaoliang Yu, DC 3617, yaoliang.yu "at" uwaterloo.ca
Office hours: Tuesdays, DC 3617, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Time and Place:


TA Office hours will be in DC2102 the following dates:


Lecture Topics



Assignments are due at noon. You will have two weeks to complete the assignments. Some of the assignments will contain programming questions, for which we will provide detailed instructions on how to submit your programs. The assignment due dates are as follows:

Instructions for Assignments:

Regarding written work: Your solutions will be judged not only for correctness but also for the quality of your presentation and explanations (justifications are implicitly required in most questions). Ensure that your solutions are complete and mathematically precise, and at the same time, easy to understand and to the point. In questions that involve designing an algorithm, (i) describe the main idea first if that is helpful, (ii) present a clearly written pseudocode (e.g., at a level of details mimicking the style of the lectures, the model solutions, or the textbook), (iii) give a correctness proof/argument if it is not immediately obvious, and (iv) include an analysis (usually, of the running time).

Assignments will be submitted as pdf files in LEARN. In LEARN you will upload your assignments to the specific dropbox for the assignment. Please type your assignments or write legibly. Please use a cover page. Put your full name and ID number on this first page. On the top right-hand corner of the first page, put the first two characters of your last name in big capital letters followed by the section number for the section in which you want to pick up your assignment. For example: if John Doe is attending Section 2, he would write "DO 2" (not "JD 2").

As per the collaboration policy, you must indicate on your assignments any assistance you received.

Assignments are due at noon. So the dropbox on LEARN will close at that time.

Mark Appeals:

All mark appeals (for assignments and midterm) must be made within two weeks of the date of the return (if you pick up your assignment/exam late, your appeal period does not lengthen).
Your appeal should be submitted to the TA who marked the question in writing. Only if the problem is still unresolved should you then bring the case to the instructor's attention

(No) Late policy:

Late assignments will not be accepted and will be given a mark of zero. In case of genuinely extenuating circumstances such as serious illness, please let us know as soon as possible.

Collaboration policy:

While you are not permitted to receive aid from other people, on many occasions, it is useful to ask others (TAs, the instructor, and other students) for hints generally about problem-solving strategies and presentation. This should be limited to the type of advice you get from the instructor and TAs during their office hours. Such activity is both acceptable and encouraged, but you must indicate on your assignments any assistance you receive. Any assistance received (from human or nonhuman sources) that is not given proper citation may be considered a violation of the university policies.

Remember that, you are responsible for understanding and being able to explain all of the statements in your homeworks and exam solutions. Most importantly, the solutions must be written up independently of the other students.


Textbook: [CLRS] Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein, Introduction to Algorithms (3rd ed.), MIT Press, 2009 (QA76.6 .C662 2009).

CLRS is available in the Davis Centre Library Reserves, as well as the following textbooks:

Suggested Readings from CLRS

Below is a list of relevant sections for some of the problems and topics covered in lectures. Less immediately applicable readings are given in parentheses.

University Policies (University required text)

Academic Integrity:

In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. All members of the UW community are expected to hold to the highest standard of academic integrity in their studies, teaching, and research. The Office of Academic Integrity's website ( http://www.uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity) contains detailed information on UW policy for students and faculty. This site explains why academic integrity is important and how students can avoid academic misconduct. It also identifies resources available on campus for students and faculty to help achieve academic integrity in - and out - of the classroom.


A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy70.htm.


A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offenses, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offense, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offenses (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about "rules" for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean. When misconduct has been found to have occurred, disciplinary penalties will be imposed under Policy 71 - Student Discipline. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 - Student Discipline, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy71.htm.

Avoiding Academic Offenses:

Most students are unaware of the line between acceptable and unacceptable academic behaviour, especially when discussing assignments with classmates and using the work of other students. For information on commonly misunderstood academic offenses and how to avoid them, students should refer to the Faculty of Mathematics Cheating and Student Academic Discipline Policy, http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/navigation/Current/cheating_policy.shtml .


A student may appeal the finding and/or penalty in a decision made under Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances (other than regarding a petition) or Policy 71 - Student Discipline if a ground for an appeal can be established. Read Policy 72 - Student Appeals, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy72.htm .