Title: CS 4384: Automata Theory
Course Registration Number: 81309
Times: MW 2:303:45
Location: ECSS 2.306
Instructor: Dr. Kevin Hamlen (hamlen AT utdallas)
Instructor's Office Hours: MW 4:005:00 in ECSS 3.704
Teaching Assistant: Tatiana Erekhinskaya (erekhinskaya AT hlt DOT utdallas)
TA's Office Hours: Tue 1:002:00, Fri 11:001:00 in ECSS 3.417
This course covers foundational theory and practice of finite state machines, regular expression matching, and contextfree grammars. The following are the course learning objectives:
Through taking this course, students will learn the theoretical and practical significance of automata theory and its application to important realworld problem domains, such as parsing, programming language design, security policy specification, natural language processing, and many others. The material will also be linked to important theoretical foundations of computer science, such as complexity theory.
The course is open to undergraduates and must be taken for letter grade only.
Prerequisites: CS 3305 Discrete Math for Computing II
Homework (30%): There will be 6 homework assignments assigned at a rate of approximately one assignment every 2 weeks. Problems will consist of discrete math and proofs. There may also be some programming problems to be completed in Java. Homeworks must be submitted by the start of class on the due date. No late homeworks will be accepted.
Quizzes (15%): Pop quizzes will be administered during class on randomly chosen dates. The quizzes will typically be short, consisting of about 5 multiplechoice or shortanswer questions, and are intended to help the student stay current with the material presented in lectures.
Midterm (20%): A midterm exam will be administered in class on Wednesday, October 17.
Final (35%): The final exam for the course is scheduled for Monday, December 17th at 2:00pm. The exam will be cumulative, covering all material in the course. Students will have 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete it.
Students may work individually or together with other students presently enrolled in the class to complete the assignments, but they must CITE ALL COLLABORATORS AND ANY OTHER SOURCES OF MATERIAL that they consulted, even if those sources weren't copied wordforword. Copying or paraphrasing someone else's work without citing it is plagiarism, and may result in severe penalties such as an immediate failing grade for the course and/or expulsion from the computer science program. Therefore, please cite all sources!
Students may NOT collaborate with students who are not currently enrolled in the class. In particular, it is a violation of the class homework policy to collaborate with a student who took the class in a previous semester or to consult their old homework solutions. These sources are offlimits because such "collaborations" tend to involve simply copying or paraphrasing someone else's answer to a similar homework problem, which does not show that you have learned the material yourself and does not prepare you for the exams.
Lectures and homework assignments for the course will be selfcontained, so there is no mandatory textbook. However, students are strongly encouraged to obtain one of the following recommended texts, both of which cover all material in the course:
In addition, homework 4 requires students to learn the basics of the JavaCC parsergenerator. Documentation for it can be found online at that link.
Date  Topic  Assignments  
Regular Languages  
Lecture 1: Mon 8/27 
Course Introduction: Deterministic Finite Automata (DFAs)  
Lecture 2: Wed 8/29 
Nondeterminism: Nondeterministic Finite Automata (NFAs)  Assignment 1 due Monday 9/17 

No Class: Mon 9/3 
No class: Labor Day  
Lecture 3: Wed 9/5 
Applications of NFAs: Regular Expressions (REs)  
Lecture 4: Mon 9/10 
Conversions: DFANFA  
Lecture 5: Wed 9/12 
Conversions: NFARE  
Properties of Regular Languages  
Lecture 6: Mon 9/17 
Proving Nonregularity: Pumping Lemma  Assignment 2 due Monday 10/1 

Lecture 7: Wed 9/19 
Proving Regularity: Closure Properties  
Lecture 8: Mon 9/24 
Regular Decision Problems: Emptiness, Finiteness  
Lecture 9: Wed 9/26 
Regular Decision Problems: Language Equivalence, DFA Minimization  
Lecture 10: Mon 10/1 
Applications of Automata Theory: Cybersecurity  Assignment 3 due Monday 10/15 

Contextfree Grammars  
Lecture 11: Wed 10/3 
CFG Derivation Trees  
Lecture 12: Mon 10/8 
Proving Correctness of CFGs  
Lecture 13: Wed 10/10 
Regular Grammars  
Lecture 14: Mon 10/15 
Midterm Review Sample Midterm Exam with Solutions 
Assignment 4 due Wednesday 10/31 

Midterm: Wed 10/17 
Midterm Exam: Located in CN1.102  
Properties of Contextfree Languages  
Lecture 15: Mon 10/22 
Chomsky Normal Form  
Lecture 16: Wed 10/24 
Proving Noncontextfreedom: Pumping Lemma for CFLs  
Lecture 17: Mon 10/29 
Pushdown Automata  Assignment 5 due Wednesday 11/14 

Lecture 18: Wed 10/31 
CFGPDA Equivalence Closure Properties of CFLs 

Lecture 19: Mon 11/5 
CFL Decision Algorithms: Emptiness, Membership  
Computational Complexity  
Lecture 20: Wed 11/7 
Turing Machines  
Lecture 21: Mon 11/12 
Universal Turing Machines  
Lecture 22: Wed 11/14 
Decidability  
No Class: Mon 11/19 
No class: Fall break  
No Class: Wed 11/21 
No class: Fall break  
Lecture 23: Mon 11/26 
Undecidability and Reductions  Assignment 6 due Wednesday 12/12 

Lecture 24: Wed 11/28 
P vs. NP  
Lecture 25: Mon 12/3 
Undecidability of CFL Problems  
Wed 12/5  Quiz day (no lecture)  
Lecture 26: Mon 12/10 
Final Review Sample Final Exam with Solutions 

Lecture 27: Wed 12/12 
Final Review  
Mon 12/17 2:004:45pm 
Final Exam: Located in the TI Auditorium 