CS 4850

Mathematical Foundations for the Information Age


Location: Gates Hall G01
Lecture: MWF 1:25pm - 2:15pm

Instructor: John Hopcroft
Office Hours: By Appointment
Textbook (2017): Mathematical Foundations for the Information Age

Announcements


  • 3/18: HW 8 Posted
  • 3/12: HW 7 Posted
  • 3/8: HW Typo: Problem 4.17.1 is untrue, therefore ignore it when completing the homework. The problem statement is ammended to "vertices corresponding to two graphs are connected by an edge of one graph can be obtained from another by a flip of a pair of disjoint edges and both are connected ".
  • 3/3: HW 6 Posted and OH Updated
  • 2/23: There are now three midterms and no final, due to scheduling issues
  • 2/23: HW 5 Posted and Midterm 3 Added
  • 2/10: Reminder: First Midterm on Feb. 17
  • 2/10: HW 4 Posted. Note that students can a data file for 3.31, which will save them a lot of time
  • 2/5: HW 3 Posted
  • 2/3: Added Directions to Surge
  • 2/3: Office Hour Locations Updated
  • 2/2: TA Office Hours All Posted
  • 1/30: HW 2 Posted
  • 1/20: Reminder: we have changed the book version from 2016 to 2017

Concepts


This course will focus not only on Discrete Math, but also Probability Theory and Numerical Methods. In this light, materials covered in CS 2800: Discrete Structures, MATH 1910: Calculus for Engineers or MATH 1920: Multivariable Calculus for Engineers, and MATH 2210: Linear Algebra or MATH 2940: Linear Algebra for Engineers are recommended prerequisites for the course.

We will cover the mathematical foundations of data science, machine learning, and other mathematically-intensive areas of Computer Science. A sparse sampling of fundamental concepts includes High-Dimensional Spaces, the Singular Value Decomposition, Random Walks, Machine Learning, Massive Data, Clustering, and Topic Models. For a complete list of concepts covered in this course, please see the textbook's table of contents. We hope to cover most, if not all, of the material in the textbook by the end of this semester.

The textbook used in this class is Mathematics for the Information Age by Avrim Blum, John Hopcroft and Ravindran Kannan . The 2017 version of the book can be accessed here. There are many different versions of the book online which may have different numbers for the chapter questions. Please refer to this most recent version for correct HW questions.

Your grade will be roughly calculated as follows: 40% HW, 20% Midterm 1, 20% Midterm 2, 20% Midterm 3. However, note that this is simply a rough estimate; we plan to grade holistically. For example, if a student does poorly on the first midterm, but brings his/her later grades up, we will give weigh the later test scores more as this shows hard work on the student's part.

Exams


There are now three midterms. The midterms will be in class

  • Midterm 1: Feb. 17
  • Midterm 2: April 14
  • Midterm 3: May 3

Exam Regrade Policy:

Exam regrade requests will be considered if:

  • They are handed to Prof. Hopcroft or TAs within one week of the time that the given exam is returned to the class.
  • The answer was falsely graded as incorrect. In particular, we will not accept requests for higher partial credit.
  • They come with a written explanation, stapled onto the exam, of why the given answer was right.
  • Homework


    HW1 Due Jan. 30 Problems 2.9, 2.10, 2.19
    HW2 Due Feb. 6 Problems 2.17, 2.22, 2.27,2.37, 2.41, and either 2.46 or 2.47
    HW3 Due Feb. 13 Problems 2.11, 2.14, 3.3, 3.5, 3.8
    HW4 Due Feb. 27 Problems 3.10, 3.22, 3.24, 3.27, 3.31 (IMPORTANT: Data file for 3.31 found here)
    HW5 Due Mar. 6 Problems 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 4.6, 4.9
    HW6 Due Mar. 13 Problems 4.11, 4.13, 4.17, 4.18.1, 4.21
    HW7 Due Mar. 20 Problems 4.25, 4.29, 4.33, 4.44, 4.48
    HW8 Due Mar. 27 Problems 6.2, 6.4, 6.7, 6.9, 6.10 or 6.18 or 6.19
    HW9 Due TBA Problems TBA
    HW10 Due TBA Problems TBA

    HW Notes:

    Questions for the HWs are from the Blum, Hopcroft and Kannan textbook (see above). Students are encouraged to work together but each must submit their own HW (written in their own words). Students must understand everything they turn in, and must show all their work to receive substantial credit. This includes all the relevant parts of their code for the coding questions and the assumptions made / parameters used that were not specified in the question text. Homeworks are due during class on the due date listed inside the chart above.

    We recommend typesetting solutions in LaTeX or writing them neatly in dark pen; HW will be graded on BOTH Correctness and Neatness. If we cannot understand your solutions, we cannot give you points! Late HWs are NOT accepted unless the student has reasonable cause e.g. a doctor's appointment during class.

    HW Regrade Policy:

    Regrade requests will be considered if:

  • They are handed to Prof. Hopcroft or TAs within one week of the time that the given homework is returned to the class.
  • The answer was falsely graded as incorrect. In particular, we will not accept requests for higher partial credit.
  • They come with a written explanation, stapled onto the assignment, of why the given answer was right.
  • Course Staff


    Professor John Hopcroft Office hours by appointment only
    Ph.D TA Eric Hans Lee Wednesday 2:30pm-3:30pm, Gates Hall G15 or by appointment
    TA Joshua Hull Saturday 1:00pm-2:00pm, Rhodes 412
    TA Shreya Jain Friday 2:45pm-3:45pm, Rhodes 400
    TA Jiaqi Su Friday 8:30pm-9:30pm, Gates G13
    TA Sandeep Uppaluri Thursday 7:00pm-8:00pm, Gates G19
    TA Matthew Wallingford Thursday 5:00pm-6:00pm, Gates G15
    TA Anna Yesypenko Sunday 2:00pm-3:00pm, Gates G11

    Please email erichanslee@cs.cornell* for any administrative questions/inquiries. For a tutoring session with one of our TAs, you can contact Joshua Hull at jth242@cornell* or Anna Yesypenko at ay256@cornell* to arrange a session. The session will focus on the course material and HWs.


    **This course follows the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. Each student in this course is expected to abide by the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit will be the student's own work. Violations of the rules (e.g. cheating, copying) will not be tolerated.