CPSC 421/501 Page, Fall 2015
This page concerns CPSC 421 Section 101 and CPSC 501 Section 101.
The courses have been combined, except that CPSC 501 will have an
additional essay to write.
This page has the most up-to-date information on the course(s) and
supersedes any other document.
Overview for this course.
The main text for this course is
Theory of Computation, by Michael Sipser, 3rd Edition.
We shall begin the course by covering Sections 1-4 of
Computability and Self-Referencing in CPSC421; this is a more general
treatment of Section 4.2 of Sipser's textbook.
We will then cover Turning machines,
parts of Chapters 3 and 4 of Sipser's textbook, and finish
the latter part of
Computability and Self-Referencing in CPSC421.
We continue with Chapters 5-7 and 9; regular languages (Chapter 1) and
context-free languages (Chapter 2) will be covered briefly towards
the end of the course.
The midterm will be held during class hours on
October 30, 2015.
Learning goals along with sample exam problems are given
learning goals webpage.
We begin the course by talking about computability and related
with the handout
Computability and Self-Referencing in CPSC421
(last modified September 27, 2014); these notes will be modified, and have
material added to them (especially exercises).
This material will be reviewed again later in the course
(see Chapters 4 and 5 of Sipser's text).
I will write a
to say roughly what we are covering when and to make some additional
remarks regarding class material.
This blog is usually quite skeletal, and will be modified
throughout the term.
All homework involving Sipser's textbook is based on the 3rd edition of
Joel Friedman (Instructor): by appointment, for now.
Students in CPSC 501 have an
essay due on the last day of class.
Choose any topic that goes beyond something done in this course, but
please get my approval. The following topics are fine:
(1) Fuller discussion of some of the paradoxes mentioned in the
handout, including: Godel's incompleteness theorems and Russell's paradox;
(2) Discussion of a number of different types of problems (including some
that may arise in practice?) known to be
undecidable or unacceptable (unrecognizable);
(3) Methods of showing that a language is not recognizable (how many
different methods are known, for example?);
(4) Discuss the Chomsky Hierarchy (e.g., explain why Type-0 grammars yield
precisely all Turing-recognizable languages, what Type-1 grammars
(context sensitive) give) (see the wikipedia page);
No news is good news.