University of Nevada Las Vegas
Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering
School of Computer Science
My Home Page

Computer Science 456/656
Automata and Formal Languages
Fall 2007

Check the Assignments and Lecture Topics Page frequently.

Revised September 25, 2007.

Dr. Larmore
Office, TBE B378B. Telephone 702-895-1096, larmore "at" cs "dot" unlv "dot" edu
Office Hours: Subject to change.
10:15 -- 11:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays.
1:00 -- 2:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Contacting Me:
It's best to send me email. Be sure to write "CS456" (or "CS656") in the subject field so that I know what the message is about. (I delete lots of messages without reading them, based on the subject fields.)
You may also telephone my office and leave a message.
Please, never try to communicate with me by leaving notes on my door, under my door, or in my mailbox in the department office, as those notes get lost, and I can't retrieve them remotely.
If it is absolutely necessary to give me something, please leave it with the department staff, but do not put it into my mailbox or push it under my door. In this case, please also send me an email message stating that the item has been left for me.
Graduate Assistant:
S. Swamynathan
Days of Instruction:
August 28, 2007 - December 6, 2007.
Thanksgiving Day Recess:
November 22, 2007.
Time of Instruction:
2:30 - 3:45, Tuesday and Thursday.
Place of Instruction:
TBE B176.
Final Examination:
Tuesday, December 11, 3:10 -- 5:10 PM.
Introduction to the Theory of Computation, by Michael Sipser. PWS. ISBN 0-534-95097-3.
We are using the second edition.
CS 302 (Introduction to Data Structures) (Formerly CSC 269)
MAT 351 (Discrete Mathematics II).
Click here if you did not take both CSC 269 and MAT 351 at UNLV and receive a grade of "C" or better in each of those two courses.
Graduate Students:
If you want graduate credit, you must enroll in 656, not 456.
Each CSC 656 student must turn in at least one challenge problem and turn it in by the last week of class. CS 456 students are also permitted to work challenge problems, but I will not permit students to improve a poor grade in this manner. The reason for this policy is that I want students who are doing poorly in the course to devote their energy to mastering the regular material.
Compiler Construction:
CS 456/656 is a prerequisite for CS 460/CS 678 (Compiler Construction).
I do not advise you to take that course concurrently.
Written Homework:
will be assigned, collected, and graded. You are permitted to discuss homework.
The first examination will be September 27.
The second examination will be November 8.
The final examination will be December 11, 3:10 -- 5:10.
Your grade will be based on the three examinations and on homework.
Although the homework will take a substantial amount of time to work, and will actually be harder than the examinations, it counts for only a small part of the grade. The reason for this is that I allow you to work together on homework. If you work the homework regularly, you should do well on the examinations.

This course is arguably the most interesting in the Computer Science core curriculum. During this Semester, you will learn the accurate meanings of a number of
terms that you have probably heard. In some cases, you will have to unlearn what you previously believed! For example, you will learn the following concepts:

Detailed description of the CYK algorithm.

Homework and tests from prior semesters are available.