COMP 160: Introduction to Algorithms (Spring 2019)

Instructors: Karen Edwards and Matias Korman

Grad TAs: Rebecca Newman, John Lazarsfeld

In-class exams: February 14, April 2, April 25.
Final exam: Monday, May 6, 3:30pm-5:30pm

General information (on this page):

Expected work
Course tools
When and where is class?
Who is teaching?
Who are your TAs?
Office hours
Whom should you contact?
Textbook, prerequisites, topics
Grading (and an important note)
How to submit homework
Tips on doing well
Tufts policies, and the consequences of academic dishonesty

Schedule so far: What was covered in past lectures and recitations.

Reading: Organized by topic; class notes, links, videos and textbook references. All are available before the course begins.

Expected Work:

Students are expected to attend class and recitation regularly and to complete regular reading assignments in CLRS. Students are responsible for all material covered in class as well as all material covered in the assigned reading, whether or not the material is also covered in class. Graded course work will include regular homework sets, three exams, and one final examination. Weekly quizzes will be also given in class for the purposes of feedback.


Individual completion and regular submission of the homework with full attribution of sources is a prerequisite for passing this course.

NOTE: Groups of people may work together at the outset, discussing and strategizing how to solve problems, and various other sources may be consulted, subject to the following conditions:

Violations of the above may earn a grade of 0 and be reported to your dean. See below for how to submit homework.


The in-class exams and the final exam will include questions similar to those included on homework assignments and will draw on material covered in lecture and/or in the reading.

No collaboration or devices are allowed on examinations.

Course tools:

When and Where:
  • Lecture:
    Tue & Thu, 10:30 - 11:45 am (D+ block). Anderson Wing SEC, Room 112 (Nelson Auditorium).
  • Recitation:
    Wed 10:30AM - 11:45AM. Sophia Gordon Multi-Purpose Hall. // Led by Rebecca and Ana.
    Thu 3:00PM - 4:15PM. Paige Hall Crane Room. // Led by Rebecca and Josh.
    Thu 6:00PM - 7:15PM. Sci-Tech Center, Room 136. // Led by John.

Instructional Team: (email: instr160 "at" cs)
  • Karen Edwards, Halligan 004, email: kedwards "at" cs,
    OH Wed/Fri 1:15–2:15pm and by appt
  • Matias Korman, Halligan 005, email: mkorman "at" eecs
    OH Mon 1–3pm, Wed 10am–12noon and by appt
Grad TAs: (all email addresses are
  • Rebecca Newman (rebecca.newman)
  • John Lazarsfeld (john.lazarsfeld)
TAs: (all email addresses are
  • Charles Winston (charles.winston)
  • Ana Arsovska (ana.arsovska)
  • Brendan Voelz (brendan.voelz)
  • Dylan Hudson (dylan.hudson)
  • John Lazarsfeld (john.lazarsfeld)
  • Joshua Tso (joshua.tso)
  • Long Tran (long.tran)
  • Mert Erden (mert.erden)
  • Prakalya Chandrasekar (prakalya.chandrasekar)
  • Victor Gao (xiang.gao)

Office Hours: Unless noted otherwise, office hours are held in the Collaboration Room on the 2nd floor of Halligan, past the kitchen. If office hours need to move elsewhere, a note will be written on the whiteboards in the collaboration room.

Any cancellations or one-time changes will be posted in Piazza.

9am–12noon John
1:30–3pm Long
3–4:30pm Brendan
4:30–6pm Josh, Long
6–7:30pm Josh, Mert
7:30–9pm Dylan, Mert, Prakalya (as of 8:30pm)
9–10:30pm Dylan, Prakalya
12–1:30pm Rebecca
1:30–4:30pm Mert
6–9pm Victor
3–4:30pm Brendan
6–7:30pm Dylan
7:30–9pm John
12–3pm Charles
12–1:30pm Prakalya
1:30–4:30pm Long
12–3pm Josh
3–6pm Ana
1:30–4:30pm Ana
4:30–7:30pm John
7:30–10:30pm Prakalya

Whom to contact, and when:
  • First make sure the answer to your question isn't already on the course website or Piazza (e.g., when is the exam, when are office hours, etc)
  • Technical problems about submitting homework, accessing grades, etc: post an individual message on Piazza or contact instr160.
  • Grading concerns: first contact the TA who graded the problem, then if unresolved contact instr160.
  • Major illness or other issue? Feel free to contact the instructor of your section, but you are also expected to contact Health Services and/or your dean.


COMP 15 and COMP/MATH 61 (in other words, basic data structures and discrete math)
If you have not successfully completed of these courses and are enrolled in comp160, you must contact the instructor of your section.

This is an introduction to the design and analysis of algorithms, which involves discussing a few basic data structures as well. Many topics could fit in such a course, and not all intro courses go over exactly the same material. To see what is taught in this course, please visit the Reading page.

About lectures:

You will be graded on:

If you have a serious reason for not submitting homework or not taking an exam, you should notify your Dean and/or Health Services, and of course you may copy us as well. Otherwise, exams must be taken at the scheduled times. Check the exam schedule before making travel arrangements.

Overall grade = 20%(Homework) + 50%(Three midterms) + 30%(Final exam)

Important note: Do not assume that the numerical score you receive on homework or exams directly corresponds to a particular letter grade. Your score is just a number that lets us figure out who is doing better or worse than the median, so don't panic if you think you scored low. An evaluation of your performance will be given after the first exam. As an example, homework scores have often averaged around 85% where exam scores have often had a median between 60% and 65%, and an 85% is excellent.

How to submit homework and receive grades

Tips for doing well in this course, if you find it challenging:

Students and instructors of this course are to respect the following:

Don't cheat: