CIS 511, Fall 2021
Introduction to The Theory of Computation

Course Information
September 28, 2021

** Welcome to CIS511, Fall 2021 **


Lecture: Monday-Wednesday, noon-1:30pm; LEVH 101


Jean H. Gallier, GRW 476, 8-4405,

Office Hours:

Thursday 5:00-6:15pm (see zoom link on canvas)


Andrews Beams:
Daniel Feshback:
Varun Gupta:
Malathy Nagalakshmi:
Nagul Ulaganathan:
Jocelyn Quaintance:
Yuwei Yuan (Lucy):

Office Hours:

Course Format

This Fall we are returning to in class teaching, but lectures will be recorded and some office hours and recitations will be conducted on zoom and recorded as well.

In order to increase the level of interaction between the students and the instructor(s) I propose to use the following scenario.

There will be no midtems, a single final exam, and homework problems (some challenging).

CANVAS Account

There is a CANVAS account for the course: CIS 511-001 2021C
You should have access to it using your Pennkey.

This account contains the video recordings and reading material that
you should consult each week.

Look for Class Recordings and Files.

There is also a PIAZZA Account: SRS_CIS-511-001 2021C

In preparation for the next lecture (September 29), please read in Slides and Notes

Chapter 6, Pages 109-115,
Also read Pages 221-234 of the slides

Textbook (not required):

Introduction to Automata Theory, Languages and Computation, J.E. Hopcroft, R. Motwani, and J.D. Ullman, Addison Wesley, third edition (July 8, 2006). The second edition is also fine.

Also recommended:

Elements of the Theory of Computation H. Lewis and C. Papadimitriou, Prentice Hall

Latex Tutorial :


[   Grade (Homeworks, Exams)   |  Additional Resources   |  Syllabus   |  Slides and Notes   ]

A Word of Advice :

Expect to be held to high standards, and conversely! In addition to transparencies, I will post lecture notes. Please, read the course notes regularly, and start working early on the problems sets. They will be hard! Take pride in your work. Be clear, rigorous, neat, and concise. Preferably, use a good text processor, such as LATEX, to write up your solutions.

Due to the difficulty of the homework problems and in order to give you an opportunity to learn how to collaborate more effectively (I do not mean "copy"), I will allow you to work in small groups. A group consists of AT MOST THREE students.

You are allowed to collaborate with the same person(s) an unrestricted number of times.
Only one homework submission per group. All members of a group will get the SAME grade on a homework or a project (please, list all names in a group).

It is forbidden to use solutions of problems posted on the internet. If you use resources other than the textbook (or the recommended textbooks) or the class notes, you must cite these references.

Plagiarism Policy

I assume that you are all responsible adults.
Copying old solutions verbatim or blatantly isomorphic solutions are easily detectable.
DO NOT copy solutions from old solution sheets, from books, from solutions posted on the internet, or from friend!
Either credit will be split among the perpetrators, or worse!

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published by:

Jean Gallier