CSC320: Foundations of Computer Science
Course Dates
CRN(s): Section A01 CRN: 30198
Term: Summer 2017
Classes Start: 2017-05-01
Classes End: 2017-07-28
Scheduled Meeting Times (M=Mon, T=Tue, W=Wed, R=Thu, F=Fri)
Section: Location: Days of week: Hours of day: Instructor:
A01ECS 123TWF10:30-11:20Wendy Myrvold
T01CLE A307T13:30-14:20
T02CLE A307T14:30-15:20

Name: Wendy Myrvold
Office: ECS 552
Phone: (250) 472-5783
Email: wendym at cs dot uvic dot ca

Office Hours:Comments

Getting help

Office hours will end when there are no more students who have questions.

If you cannot make office hours and need an appointment, send an e-mail with your list of available times.

Asking for help by e-mail is encouraged. Please put CSC 320 in your subject header plus an informative subject (use different subjects for different questions) so that your messages are not confused with those from the other class I am teaching.

E-mail is a more effective way to contact me than using a phone.

Connex Site:

The connex site is used if there is electronic assignent submission or for private course materials.
Login to connex from here:

Course Web Pages:

For office hours, scheduling information for tutorials and assignments, class notes, old exams, and other course information:

Required: Elements of the Theory of Computation, 2nd Edition
by Harry R. Lewis and Christos H. Papadimitriou, Prentice-Hall, 1998
Course Objectives

Students should improve their ability to read, write, and understand proofs.
They also should learn to read, understand, and manipulate formal mathematical definitions with precision.
The students should gain an understanding of what can and cannot be computed using the models of computation studied.

Course Content

Formal definitions of computation, languages and computability.
Automata theory: finite state automata, pushdown automata and Turing machines, deterministic and non-deterministic machines.
Language classes defined by classes of grammars.
Equivalence of grammars and automata as language definitions.
The Halting Problem, reductions, and NP-completeness.

Homework Assignments

There will be 5 assignments of equal weight.

Tentative assignment schedule:

Assignment #1: Friday May 19
Assignment #2: Friday June 2
Assignment #3: Friday June 16
Assignment #4: Friday July 14
Assignment #5: Friday July 28

The actual deadlines will be posted on the course web page.

No late assignments except for exceptional circumstances (e.g. RCSD accommodations).

Your lowest assignment grade will be dropped when computing your assignment average.

Students must have an average of at least 50% on the assignments in order to write the final exam.

Students are encouraged to work in study groups.
However, final assignment submissions should be generated independently.
You are expected to solve the problems yourself. Copying solutions from others, the web, or any other source will be considered a serious academic offense and may result
in failure of the course.


The midterm is in class on Wednesday June 21.

The final exam will be scheduled by the University.

For courses which have final exams, students are strongly advised not to make final plans for travel or employment during the exam period since special arrangements will not be made for examinations that may conflict with such plans.

Coursework Weight (out of 100)
Assignments 20
Midterm exam 30
Final exam 50

Students not permitted to write the final exam because the assignment average is less than 50% will receive a mark of N in the course.

Grading System

The University of Victoria follows a percentage grading system in which the instructor will submit grades in percentages. The University will use the following Senate approved standardized grading scale to assign letter grades. Both the percentage mark and the letter grade will be recorded on the academic record and transcripts.

F D C C+ B- B B+ A- A A+
0-49 50-59 60-64 65-69 70-72 73-76 77-79 80-84 85-89 90-100
Grades Description
A+, A, A- Exceptional, outstanding or excellent performance. Normally achieved by a minority of students. These grades indicate a student who is self-initiating, exceeds expectation and has an insightful grasp of the subject matter.
B+, B, B- Very good, good or solid performance. Normally achieved by the largest number of students. These grades indicate a good grasp of the subject matter or excellent grasp in one area balanced with satisfactory grasp in the other areas.
C+, C Satisfactory, or minimally satisfactory. These grades indicate a satisfactory performance and knowledge of the subject matter.
D Marginal Performance. A student receiving this grade demonstrated a superficial grasp of the subject matter.
F Unsatisfactory performance. Wrote final examination and completed course requirements; no supplemental.
Posting of Grades

Typically marks for assignments, examinations, and provisional final grades, are made available through conneX, or CourseSpaces where each student will be able to view only their own grades. Sometimes numerical marks/grades may be posted publicly to the entire class. In that case, full student numbers or names will not be included with the posted information.

Course Experience Survey (CES)

I value your feedback on this course. Towards the end of term you will have the opportunity to complete a confidential course experience survey (CES) regarding your learning experience. The survey is vital to providing feedback to me regarding the course and my teaching, as well as to help the department improve the overall program for students in the future. When it is time for you to complete the survey, you will receive an email inviting you to do so. If you do not receive an email invitation, you can go directly to the CES site

You will need to use your UVic NetLink ID to access the survey, which can be done on your laptop, tablet or mobile device. I will remind you closer to the time, but please be thinking about this important activity, especially the following three questions, during the course.

  • What strengths did your instructor demonstrate that helped you learn in this course?
  • Please provide specific suggestions as to how the instructor could have helped you learn more effectively.
  • Please provide specific suggestions as to how this course could be improved.
Csc Student Groups

The Computer Science Course Union ( serves all students who are either in a computer science program or taking a class in computer science. Please sign yourself up on their mailing list if you would like to be informed about their social events and services.

The Engineering Students' Society (ESS) serves all students registered in an Engineering degree program, including Software Engineering (BSEng). For information on ESS activities, events and services navigate to .

Course Policies And Guidelines

Late Assignments: No late assignments will be accepted unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor at least 48 hours before the assignment due date.
Coursework Mark Appeals: All marks must be appealed within 7 days of the mark being posted.
Attendance: We expect students attend all lectures and labs. It is entirely the students' responsibility to recover any information or announcements presented in lectures from which they were absent.
Electronic devices in labs and lectures: No unauthorized audio or video recording of lectures is permitted.
Electronic devices in midterms and exams: Calculators are only permitted for examinations and tests if explicitly authorized and the type of calculator permitted may be restricted. No other electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, pagers, PDA, etc.) may be used during examinations or tests unless explicitly authorized.
Plagiarism: Submitted work may be checked using plagiarism detection software. Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic fraud are taken very seriously by both the University and the Department. You should consult for the UVic policy on academic integrity. Note that the university policy includes the statement that "A largely or fully plagiarized assignment should result in a grade of F for the course".

The Faculty of Engineering Standards for Professional Behaviour are at
U.Vic guidelines and policy concerning fraud and academic integrity are at


This course aims to provide equal opportunities and access for all students to enjoy the benefits and privileges of the class and its curriculum and to meet the syllabus requirements. Reasonable and appropriate accommodation will be made available to students with documented disabilities (physical, mental, learning) in order to give them the opportunity to successfully meet the essential requirements of the course. The accommodation will not alter academic standards or learning outcomes, although the student may be allowed to demonstrate knowledge and skills in a different way. It is not necessary for you to reveal your disability and/or confidential medical information to the course instructor. If you believe that you may require accommodation, the course instructor can provide you with information about confidential resources on campus that can assist you in arranging for appropriate accommodation. Alternatively, you may want to contact the Resource Centre for Students with a Disability located in the Campus Services Building.

The University of Victoria is committed to promoting, providing, and protecting a positive, and supportive and safe learning and working environment for all its members.