CS 4820  Introduction to Algorithms
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General Information Edit
The undergraduate algorithms course, and the second theory course in the CS major. This course is required for all CS majors. Most students take it their sophomore or junior year spring. This course is very useful to have when applying for internships, since it will improve your interviewing skills and most interviewers will expect it as a sign of CS maturity.
Prerequisites Edit
CS 2800 and CS 3110. These aren't really strict requirements  the only thing you really need is some familiarity with graph algorithms.
Topics Covered Edit
 Greedy Algorithms
 Divide and Conquer
 Dynamic Programming
 Flow Networks
 NPCompleteness
 Turing Machines
 Approximation Algorithms
 Randomized Algorithms
Workload Edit
Previously (with Professor Bobby Kleinberg) one problem set per week, each consisting of three problems. Despite only being three problems, these problems are fairly time consuming and require quite a bit of thought. While it is not recommended, many students spend all Thursday nights working on the problem sets before the Friday morning deadlines.
I've heard that the workload is somewhat lower with Professor Kozen, since the course enrollment has grown in comparison to the size of the course staff. With Kozen, the deadlines are now Thursday night at midnight, not Friday morning.
General Advice Edit
Start thinking about the problems as early as possible. It helps to think about the problems when walking between classes or generally just being "idle."
It's tempting to ignore problem sets for a few days after release, since it's likely you just pulled an allnighter working on the last one. Don't fall into this trap. Think about problem sets over the weekend, and go to office hours early in the week after putting significant thought into the problems and getting stuck.
Testimonials Edit
It's as fun as shit. You should take it. Eisenhower
^This is the funnest class ever (no joke). You walk around all day thinking about algo problems. Exams don't require much prep or memorization because its just 3 algo problems that requires you to do something clever.
Past Offerings Edit
Semester  Time  Professor  Median Grade  Course Page 

Spring 2015  MWF 9:05  9:55  Eva Tardos, David Steurer  A  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs4820/2015sp/ 
Spring 2013  MWF 9:05  9:55  Dexter Kozen  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs4820/2013sp/  
Spring 2012  MWF 9:05  9:55  Robert Kleinberg  B  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs4820/2012sp/ 
Spring 2011  MWF 9:05  9:55  Robert Kleinberg  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs4820/2011sp/  
Spring 2010  MWF 9:05  9:55  Robert Kleinberg  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs4820/2010sp/  
Spring 2009  MWF 9:05  9:55  Robert Kleinberg  http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs4820/2009sp/
