Automata, Formal Languages, and Computational

Instructor Textbook Assignments Schedule (.dvi format) Schedule (postcript format)
Course Work Deadlines Collaboration Grading

This course explores the logical and mathematical foundations of computer science by exploring the following topics in some depth:

While some applications may be discussed from time to time, this course will emphasize the formal underpinnings and theory of computer science.


Henry M. Walker

Office: Science 2420
Telephone: extension 4208
Office hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside my office.
Additional hours can be scheduled by appointment.
If you wish, you may reserve a half hour meeting by signing up on the weekly schedule.


Michael Sipser, Introduction to the Theory of Computation, PWS Publishing Company, 1997, ISBN: 0-534-95651-3.

The schedule

The class is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from January 25 to March 19 and from April 5 to May 14.

While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a Tentative Class Schedule is available in both .dvi and postscript formats.

Also, if you are logged into the departmental network and want a copy printed, click duerer to have a copy printed on the printer duerer, and click pacioli to have a copy printed on the printer pacioli .

Course Work

This course will involve written assignments and tests.

  1. Written Assignments: Exercises will be assigned regularly throughout the course.

    Papers are due at the start of a class. Late papers will not be accepted (without a written excuse from the Health Center or from the Student Affairs Office), as grading late papers requires a disproportional of time and interferes with work on other parts of the course.

  2. Hour Tests: Following the Tentative Class Schedule (.dvi format / postscript,) hour tests are scheduled for Monday, February 22, for Friday, March 19, and for Wednesday, April 28.

  3. Exam: Following the published exam schedule, an exam is scheduled for 9:00 am on Thursday, May 20, during exam week.

Late Work will not be accepted, as it interferes with normal grading and with preparation for other parts of this course. As homework may be handwritten, exceptions will not be granted for computer system malfunctions.

Exception: Allowances may be made for students with special circumstances, subject to written verification by the Health Center or the Student Affairs Office.


Since this course seeks to develop individual understanding, mastery of material, and development of writing skills (particularly the writing of logical arguments), collaboration is not allowed on written assignments or tests unless otherwise stated in written instructions.


This instructor's grading philosophy dictates that the final grade should ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of her or his understanding of the material, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis. The following scheme is proposed as a base for how the various assignments and tests will be counted in the final grade.

Written Assignments: 50%
Hour Tests: 30%
Exam: 20%

This document is available on the World Wide Web as

created January 5, 1999
last revised January 22, 1999