CS 415, Section 002 Sonoma State University Spring, 2022
Algorithm Analysis
Instructor: Henry M. Walker

Lecturer, Sonoma State University
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Mathematics, Grinnell College


  Course Descriptions:  Overview  Goals  Objectives  Anticipated Work Load
  Course Elements:  Class Schedule  Class Format  Course Work  In-class Materials
  Course Details  Deadlines, Emergencies, and Illness  Collaboration and Academic Honesty  Cell Phones  Grading
  Course Support
  and Policies:
 Instructor  Resources  Accommodations  SSU Covid-19 Policies


The Sonoma State University Catalog provides the following description for CS 415, Algorithm Analysis:

Formal Description From the Sonoma State University Catalog:

A systematic approach to the design and analysis of algorithms with an emphasis on efficiency. Topics include algorithms for searching and sorting, hashing, exploring graphs, integer and polynomial arithmetic. Foundations in recurrence relations, combinatorics, probability, and graph theory as used in algorithm analysis are covered. Standard design techniques such as divide-and-conquer, greedy method, dynamic programming, heuristics and probabilistic algorithms along with NP-completeness and approximation algorithms are included. Prerequisite: CS 315 or consent of instructor.

Expanding this description somewhat, CS 415 examines the design, implementation, and efficiency of algorithms, extending the study begun in CS 115 and continued in CS 215, CS 242, and CS 315. The course has four main foci:


More specifically, CS 415 has these high-level goals:


The objectives of CS 415 include these capabilities:

Anticipated Work Load

This course incorporates a variety of activities, From past experience, the time required for these activities will likely vary substantially from student to student and from one part of the course to another. For example, a student may need to devote considerable time and effort when starting a new or different topic, but the workload may drop noticeably when that material is mastered.

Such variation in student experiences complicates any estimation of the time individual students may need to devote to homework for this course. However, from past experience, students working steadily on the course likely should expect to allocate 10-15 hours per week to homework. Some students may require additional time for some weeks; some students may complete work in less time for some weeks. Conversations with computer science faculty and others suggest this time allocation is consistent with expectations for many courses at Grinnell College and Sonoma State University.


While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a detailed Tentative Class Schedule is posted with readings, labs, assignments, examples, etc. This schedule will be updated as the course evolves.

Class Format

For variety, this course will utilize a variety of activities, including.

Course Work

Course Work will involve a combination of several activities.

In-class Materials

Most class materials, including slides, will be available on CANVAS within a few days of each class session.

Links to labs and other assignments may be found on the day-by-day class schedule.

Deadlines, Emergencies, and Illness


Worksheets and labs are due at the start of class, one week after they are started in class. A penalty of 30% per class meeting will be assessed for any assignment turned in late, even work submitted at the end of a class.

Emergencies and Illness

Although dates for assignments, quizzes, tests, and the final exam are firm, I understand that circumstances arise when you are not able to attend class.

Absolute Deadline: All homework must be turned in by Thursday, May 12, at 4:00 pm;
assignments received after that time will not be counted in the grading of the course.

Collaboration and Academic Honesty

Written assignments and Labs: Unless otherwise specified, collaboration in small groups is strongly encouraged on worksheets and labs.

Quizzes, tests, and the final exam: All quizzes, tests, and the final exam are closed book and closed notes, and collaboration is not allowed. Students may ask questions of the instructor, but communication with any other person is not allowed.

Other Graded Work: Should other work be assigned during this class, rules regarding collaboration and citation will be included as part of the activity.

Procedures: Throughout the course, For example, any hint of academic dishonesty will be investigated and handled following the SSU Policies on Cheating and plagiarism.

Cell Phones, Text Messaging, and E-Community Devices

Cell phones, text-messaging devices, and other social-networking connections may not be used in this class. If you bring such equipment to the classroom, it must be turned off before the class starts and stay off throughout the class period. Use of such equipment is distracting to those nearby and will not be tolerated.


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.

Worksheets and Labs: 50%       Tests: 30% (15% each test)       Exam: 20%


Henry M. Walker

Office: Darwin 116C
E-mail: henry.walker@sonoma.edu and walker@cs.grinnell.edu

Office hours are available most weekdays via Zoom, unless announced otherwise in class.

Monday: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm via Zoom (URL available on CS 415.002 Home Page on Canvas)
Tuesday: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm via Zoom (URL available on CS 415.002 Home Page on Canvas)
Wednesday: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm via Zoom (URL available on CS 415.002 Home Page on Canvas)
Thursday: no office hours scheduled
Friday: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm via Zoom (URL available on CS 415.002 Home Page on Canvas)

During office hours, I will try accommodate all students who want to talk with me, largely following a first-come, first-served strategy.

In addition, informal meeting times may be available just before or just after each class session.


Textbook: Anany Levitin, Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Third Edition, Pearson, 2012, ISBN 9780132316811.

Additional material may be distributed in class.

Summation Formulae: Summary Page from tripod.com



If you are a student with a disability and think you may need academic accommodations, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) located in Schulz 1014A. Please contact DSS as early as possible in order to avoid a delay in receiving accommodation services. The use of DSS services, including testing accommodations, requires prior authorization by DSS in compliance with university policies and procedures. See SSU's policy on Disability Access for Students

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

If you feel stressed or otherwise worried about your circumstances, you are encouraged to contact SSU's Counseling and Psychological Services. In summary, CAPS offers short-term individual and group counseling, workshops, crisis intervention services, consultation, referral, training, and outreach.

SSU Covid-19 Policies

Basic SSU Policy for in-person Classes

"It is the responsibility of all SSU community members to adhere to Covid safety protocols. My expectation is that you carefully read all sections of the Sonoma State Covid-19 information page. Before leaving your residence or coming to campus, you are required to complete the daily wellness screening. I expect you to have completed this screening and receive a green indicator such that you are cleared to come to campus prior to coming to class. If you are unable to come to class because you have not been cleared or if you are experiencing COVID-related symptoms, I can work with you so that you can make up the missed class sessions and/or assignments. When we are in class, we are required to wear masks at all times. If you forget to bring a mask you may obtain one at Seawolf Services, the University Library, or the Student Center. Thank you so much for helping to keep the members of our class safe."

SSU Policy on Food and Drink in the Classroom

"Eating in classrooms is not permitted. . . . The University allows temporarily lifting or removing masks to drink."

Use of Masks and Social Distancing During Class

created December, 2021
revised December, 2021-January, 2022
revised February 18, 2022
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For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at walker@cs.grinnell.edu.