Department Seal Sandia Mountains

CS 461 Class Syllabus

Course Web Page

Contact Info for Instructor and TA, office hours, assignments, tests, and general information is all on the course web page at

Course Description

From the CS dept web page: A continuation of 361L with an emphasis on design of algorithms. Topics include amortized analysis and self-adjusting data structures for trees and priority queues; union-find; minimum spanning tree, shortest path and other graph algorithms; greedy and divide and conquer paradigms.


Our text is Introduction to Algorithms, second edition by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein. This book is the "bible" for algorithm design and analysis.

What you should know

A major prerequisite for this class is CS361. You should already have passed CS361 or an equivalent class whose description from the CS dept web page is: An introduction to data structures and algorithms and the mathematics needed to analyze their time and space complexity. Topics include 0( ) notation, recurrence relations and their solution, sorting, hash tables, priority queues, search trees (including at least one balanced tree structure), and basic graph representation and search. Course includes programming projects.
Prerequisite: 201, 251L, and Math 163L.

Note: If you are a graduate student, you should not take this class. You will receive no credit for it. Instead you should take the class C S 591-051, ST/DATA STRUCT & ALG offered by Bernard Moret.


Notes on Grading Hws

Your hws should have the following properties. We will be looking for these when we grade:


Topics will likely include:

Course Assessment

Approximate weighting:


You will receive your grade on the first midterm before October 3rd, which is the last day to drop the class without a grade. If you are doing poorly in the class, I strongly urge you to withdraw before this date. If you withdraw after this date and you are failing the class at the time of withdrawal, you will receive a "WF" for the class. Grades assigned at the end of the semester are final. You will not be able to do any additional projects, papers, etc. to change your grade.