Syllabus for ISC-4221


Instructor: Peter Beerli Office: 150-T DSL Email: Phone: (850) 559-9664

Teaching Assistant: Philip Boehner Office: TBA Email:

Lectures (Beerli):

Tuesday, Thursday 12:30am-1:45pm HCB 217


Thursday 3:30pm - 6:00pm Dirac Science Library Room 152

Office Hours

Beerli: Tuesday 1:45pm-2:45pm
Boehner: TBA or by appointment.


No textbook required

Course summary

This course provides the student with an introduction to algorithms used for solving discrete prob- lems such as sorting or searching an array, scheduling, determining an optimal path (such as the well-known traveling salesman problem), extracting and interpreting data, etc. In addition to introducing the student to common algorithms for various problems, this course also provides the student with tools to analyze algorithms so that algorithms which solve the same problem can be compared.


The course is divided into eight parts:

  • Part I - Introduction to Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Part II - Random Processes
  • Part III - Graph Theory
  • Part IV - Data Mining
  • Part V - Clustering
  • Part VI - Optimization
  • Part VII - Feature Extraction and Pattern Recognition
  • Part VIII - Computational Geometry


The grade for the course will be based upon labs, homework, a midterm and a final project. This work is weighted as follows:

  • Midterm Exam - 25%
  • Final Project - 25%
  • Homework - 25%
  • Labs - 25%


The assignments consist of homeworks, lab-reports and a final project.

  • Homework: Each homework assignment must be sent as a PDF to The subject line MUST consist of ISC-4221: homework homeworknumber, the attached PDF MUST have a filename with your lastname and the homework-number, for example beerli1.pdf, ashki2.pdf. I will deduct 10 points (out of 100) for not following these submission guidelines. Contents for each homework will be graded for correctness and being concise, but wordy enough that I can follow your thought-process.
  • Lab reports: Each labreport must be sent to Philip Boehner ( The subject line MUST consist of ISC-4221: lab labnumber, the labreport must be formatted as a PDF and has a filename with your lastname and the lab-number, for example beerli1.pdf, ashki2.pdf. The report and the programming source used to generate the results must be packaged into a single zip or tar.gz archive and attached as a single attachment to the email. Deviations, such as submitting multiple attachments, submitting the report as word file, or packaging both as a rar file will be penalized by 10 points out of 100.
  • Final report: During the semester you will choose a topic, you will then research this topic and present these results to the class in a short 5 minute presentation during the finals week (Thursday 11th December 3-5pm). For grading of your presentation, I will use your presentation performance and your slides (you need to send these to me the day before the presentation); I will also need your programming source code and additional material if present to be able to understand your slides.

Late Assignments

You can turn in one laboratory assignment and one home-work late with no questions asked and no penalty; however, the assignment must be turned in no later than 1 week after its due date. Additional late assignments will be penalized by applying a graded scale which terminates with a 25% reduction at the end of one week; no assignments will be accepted more than a week past the due date. Exceptions to these rules are made only if extenuating circumstances (such as illness, etc.) arise which can be documented.

University Attendance Policy

Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

Academic Honor Policy

The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the Universitys expectations for the integrity of students academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “... be honest and truthful and ... [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University. (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at

Americans With Disabilities Act

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class. This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request. For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the: Student Disability Resource Center 874 Traditions Way 108 Student Services Building Florida State University Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167 Free Tutoring from FSU voice: (850) 644-9566 TDD: (850) 644-8504


For tutoring and writing help in any course at Florida State University, visit the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Tutoring Services comprehensive list of tutoring options - see or contact for more information. High-quality tutoring is available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. These services are offered by tutors trained to encourage the highest level of individual academic success while upholding personal academic integrity.

Syllabus Change Policy

Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.