CSE 105: Introduction to the Theory of Computation, Winter 2006

Section ID: 549454

Course Webpage: http://www-cse.ucsd.edu/classes/wi06/cse105/

Course Description: This course introduces the basic, formal ideas underlying the notion of computation. Syllabus: finite automata, regular expressions, context-free grammars, pushdown automata, turing machines, decidability, undecidability, the halting problem, introduction to complexity theory.

Instructor: Daniele Micciancio

TAs: Brian McFee and Neil Alldrin

Textbook: Introduction to the Theory of Computation by Mike Sipser, PWS Publishing Co., 1997. (See book website for Errata.)
[A second edition of the book came out recently. The two editions are almost identical, and you can use either edition of the book.]

Announcements: Course announcements will be made through this course web page. You are responsible for checking the webpage regularly for announcements.

Course Schedule

Day Time Room
Lectures Tuesday, Thursday 3:30pm-4:50pm PCYNC 109
Discussions Wednesday




CSB 002


Quiz 1 January 26 3:30pm-4:50pm PCYNC 109
Quiz 2 February 14 3:30pm-4:50pm PCYNC 109
Quiz 3 March 14 3:30pm-4:50pm PCYNC 109
Final Exam March 24 3:00pm-5:50pm PCYNC 109


Name Office Hours Room Email
Instructor Daniele Micciancio Thursday 1:00pm-1:50pm EBU-3b 4214 dmiccian@ucsd.edu (*)


Brian McFee

Neil Alldrin

Monday 1-3pm

EBU-3b B260A



(*) Important: all course related emails sent to the intructor should include the string CSE105 in the subject line (anywhere, possibly within a more descriptive message). If you do not include CSE105 in the subject, your email risks to be discarded by the spam filtering program. Also, your email messages should be in plain text format and include valid sender and return addresses. Emails with no return address, blank body and the message text included as an html attachment, ms word files, etc. risk also be automatically deleted by the email spam filter programs and are likely to never reach the instructor.


This course does not have formally graded homework assignments, but each day in class I will give some problems you should try to solve before the following lecture. For your reference, I will list the problems here on the webpage.

Reading assignments

Chapter 0: The material covered in this chapter is prerequisite to this course. This material will not be explicitly covered in class, but you are expected to read the chapter to make sure you have the necessary background.

Below are some pointers to where in the textbook you can find the material covered in each lecture. The list is tentative, and will be updated lecture by lecture as the course goes on. The book also contains many excercises and problems at the end of each chapter. You are encouraged to try to solve them. That's the best way to test your understanding and problem solving abilities, and prepare for midterm and final exams..

Course requirements and policies

Class members are expected to do all of the following in order to satisfactorily pass this class:

Quizzes are scheduled during regular lecture hours, and everybody is expected to attend. There will be no make up quizzes. Not showing up to a quiz will count as 0 grade, unless your absence is due to a demonstrated personal health problem at the time, in which case the weight of the quiz will be shifted to the final. Each quiz accounts for 20% of the final course grade, the final exam gives the remaining 40%. Both the quizzes and the final exam will be closed books, closed notes. You can take 1 double sided sheet of notes to the exam, but the notes must be your own.

Grades will be available through GradeSource. You will receive an email from gradesource with instructions and a secret number to access your grades.

Grades will NOT be assigned on a curve. You will receive a grade based on your own performance. If everybody does well, everybody will get an A! Final grades will be based roughly on the following scale: 50-54 (D), 54-58 (C-), 58-62 (C), 62-66 (C+), 66-70 (B-), 70-75 (B), 75-80 (B+), 80-85 (A-), 85-90 (A), 90-100 (A+)

Academic honesty: All students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the rules of UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship as described in the UCSD General Catalog. In case of cheating, such policy will be enforced. This means an F grade in the course, and action by the Dean of your college (probation or suspension from UCSD). You are allowed (and encouraged) to collaborate with other students in doing the homeworks. No form of collaboration is allowed during the quizzes and final exam.

Regrade requests on any quiz are only accepted within a week after the graded quiz has been returned. Do not modify your solutions after they are returned to you. If you alter the your solutions, you loose any right to request a regrade of that exam. Modifying the exam and then bringing it back to ask for a regrade will be treated as a violation of academic honesty rules, and so prosecuted.