YCP Logo Syllabus

Instructor:David Hovemeyer
Office:KEC 113
Office Hours:MWF 10-11 AM, T/Th 2-3 PM
Class Location:KEC 126
Class Times:T/Th 12:30 - 1:45 PM

CS 350 - Data Structures

Spring 2010

Updated 1/21 - Room change

Updated 1/27 - Room change (again)

Updated 3/9 - Revised schedule

Course Description

This course is an in-depth examination of important data structures, their algorithms, and implementation techniques. Both abstract and concrete data structures are discussed including sequences, stacks, queues, maps, sets, graphs, array lists, linked lists, skip lists, search trees, heaps, and hash tables. Students will implement and apply the data structures through a series of programming assignments.


CS 201 with a grade of 2 or higher

Course Structure and Expectations

Class meetings will consist primarily of lectures, although there may be a few lab activities.

In a series of programming assignments, you will (1) implement important data structures, (2) implement their associated algorithms, and (3) apply the data structures you implement to solve a variety of computational problems.

Some written homework problem sets may be assigned.

Occasional in-class quizzes may be given.

There will be two midterm exams given in class, dates/times to be announced. A scheduled final exam will be given (see the Final Exam Schedule).

We will be covering a significant amount of material in the course, and it is very important that you keep up. If you have any questions, please ask me in class, office hours, or through email. I'm here to help!

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand fundamental abstract data structures, such as sequences, stacks, queues, sets, and maps
  • Understand fundamental concrete data structures, such as array lists, linked lists, trees, search trees (including balanced search trees), hash tables, skip lists, heaps, and graphs, and the fundamental algorithms associated with these data structures
  • Be able to implement a variety of important data structures and their algorithms
  • Be able to apply data structures to a variety of computational problems
  • Be able to choose appropriate data structures for a given computational problem based on efficiency considerations



Grades are assigned on a 100-point scale:

Numeric Range Letter Grade
90-100 A (4.0)
85-90 B+ (3.5)
80-85 B (3.0)
75-80 C+ (2.5)
70-75 C (2.0)
60-70 D (1.0)
0-60 F (0.0)

Your overall grade for the course will be determined as follows:

  • Homework and programming assignments: 35%
  • Midterm exams: 40% (20% each)
  • Final exam: 20%
  • Quizzes and attendance/participation: 5%

Course website

Please check the course web page, http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dhovemey/spring2010/cs350/, regularly for important announcements.

Reading Assignments

Reading assignments are posted in the Schedule at the end of this syllabus. I expect you to do the reading before class. When I give a lecture, I will assume you have done the reading. I encourage you to use class time to ask questions about parts of the reading you did not understand to your satisfaction.

Posting and submission of assignments and labs

Assignments and labs will be posted as zip files on the course web page, http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dhovemey/spring2010/cs350/.

Assignments will be submitted using the server https://camel.ycp.edu:8443. You will receive an email containing the username and password you should use for this server.

I reserve the right to fail any student who has not made a good faith effort to complete all of the programming assignments.

Academic Integrity

The following policy pertains to written homework and graded (individual) programming assignments:

All written homework assignments and graded (individual) programming assignments are to be completed individually. I encourage you to discuss high level concepts with other students, but any work you submit must be yours alone.

Direct copying of code or other work from other students, web sites, or other sources is absolutely forbidden under any circumstances.

Any sources (books, websites, articles, fellow students, etc.) that you consult in completing an assignment must be properly acknowledged. In general, I strongly discourage you from using any resource not explicitly listed in the course syllabus or on the course web page. When you work on a programming assignment, it must be your program, not your adaptation of someone else's program.

Quizzes and exams must be completed individually.

Lab assignments are not graded---therefore, you may work with other students on them.

Any violation of the course's academic integrity policy will be referred to the Dean of Academic Affairs, and could have consequences ranging from a 0 on an assignment to dismissal from the college.

Late Assignments

Late assignments will be marked down 10% per day late. No credit will be given for assignments that are more than three (3) days late.


No make-up exams will be given without approval of the instructor prior to class unless proof of extreme emergency or illness is provided.

Attendance and Participation

I expect you to attend class and participate regularly in class activities. If you miss a class, please notify me in advance. You are responsible for all material covered in class, regardless of whether or not you were present. If you attend and participate in class regularly, you can expect to receive full credit for attendance and participation. Frequent absence and/or lack of participation will reduce the credit you receive for attendance and participation. You are responsible for keeping up with the reading assignments as described in the schedule below.


I expect you to conduct yourself as a professional in this course. Professionalism includes:

  • Respect for and courteous interaction with peers, faculty and facilities;
  • Integrity, which includes at its core honesty, responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions;
  • Sensitivity and appreciation for diverse cultures, backgrounds, and life experiences;
  • Constructive evaluation, which means that criticism is offered and accepted in a productive manner;
  • Self-reflection and identification of one’s own strengths and weaknesses;
  • Responsibility for one’s own education and learning;
  • An attitude that fosters professional behavior in colleagues and peers;
  • Punctuality at meetings and class sessions;
  • Attentive behavior during class sessions, avoiding personal or social use of cell phones, laptops, or other electronic devices;
  • Acknowledgement of the Kinsley Engineering Center as a professional workplace, and treatment of this facility as a business or office space, not as an informal space.

I reserve the right to enforce this code through the York College Code of Student Conduct.

Use of Personal Technology in the Classroom

While York College recognizes students’ need for educational and emergency-related technological devices such as laptops, PDA’s, cellular phones, etc., using them unethically or recreationally during class time is never appropriate. The college recognizes and supports faculty members’ authority to regulate in their classrooms student use of all electronic devices.

Communication Standards

York College recognizes the importance of effective communication in all disciplines and careers. Therefore, students are expected to competently analyze, synthesize, organize, and articulate course material in papers, examinations and presentations. In addition, students should know and use communication skills current to their field of study, recognize the need for revision as part of their writing process, and employ standard conventions of English usage in both writing and speaking. Students may be asked to further revise assignments that do not demonstrate effective use of these communication skills.


This schedule may be subject to minor changes. Any changes will be announced in class and also be posted on the course web page.

Week Note Topic Reading
Week 1: Jan 18-22 No class Tues Sequences, Stacks/Queues Section 6.6
Week 2: Jan 25-29   Linked lists Section 6.5
Sections 16.1-16.4
Week 3: Feb 1-5   Linked lists (cont'd)
Section 17.1
Chapter 18
Week 4: Feb 8-12   Maps/Sets
Binary Search Trees
Sections 6.7-6.8
Sections 19.1-19.3
Week 5: Feb 15-19   AVL Trees
Red-black trees
Section 19.4
Section 19.5
Week 6: Feb 22-26   Red-black trees (cont'd)
Section 19.6
Feb 27-Mar 7 Winter break, no class
Week 7: Mar 8-12   AA-trees continued  
Week 8: Mar 15-19   Skip Lists W. Pugh, Skip Lists: A Probabalistic Alternative to Balanced Trees
Week 9: Mar 22-26   Hash tables Chapter 20
Week 10: Mar 29-Apr 2 No class Thurs Hash tables (cont'd)
Apr 1-5 Spring break, no class
Week 11: Apr 5-9   B-Trees  
Databases, SQL
Section 19.8  
Week 12: Apr 12-16   Databases, SQL (cont'd) TBA
Week 13: Apr 19-23   Priority Queues, Heaps Sections 21.1-21.5
Week 14: Apr 26-30   Graphs Chapter 14
Week 15: May 3-7