CSC 301 Grinnell College Fall, 2013
Analysis of Algorithms

Some Possible Class Formats

  • Instructor lectures
    1. Students submit summaries/discussion questions for most classes
  • Students work problems
    1. individually
    2. groups of 2 or 3
Student Lectures
  • 3 students lecture on a topic
    1. Schedule guides flow of material
    2. Student presentation covers much of material
    3. Each student in group would present 10-15 minutes
    4. Instructor may add perspective at end of each class
    5. Groups likely change from one set of lectures to next
  • other students work 2-3 problems
    1. individually
    2. groups of 2 or 3
Problem-based Course
  • First class on topic
    1. Students ask questions on section of reading
    2. Class discussion clarifies questions
    3. Assignment given (e.g., 2-3 problems)
  • Next class students present answers
    1. individually
    2. groups of 2 or 3
    3. selection of presenters could be random, volunteers, minimum number required for semester, etc.
Programming-based Course
  • course focuses on series of programming assignments
    1. individually
    2. groups of 2 or 3
    3. if groups, would likely change often
  • several potential difficulties
    1. pseudocode often given in text, so programming may entail considerable syntax translation
    2. often support structure needed to set up a problem
      • (e.g., construct a group, print a graph)
      • programming effort may consume considerably more time than applying algorithm on paper by hand
    3. multiple implementations often possible for the same algorithm
      • (e.g., graphs might be implemented by hash tables, adjacency lists, or adjacency matrices)
      • multiple implementations complicates analysis
    4. analysis of algorithms may be difficult to cover in a programming assignment
In-class Small Groups
  • students work in class on problems in small groups
  • answers might be written up
  • answers might be presented in class
    1. mechanisms for presenting answers open
    2. presentations could be same day or next class