CISC/CMPE223 Software Specifications Winter 2020

Standard Syllabus

In this course we consider the standard department syllabus part of the CISC/CMPE223 syllabus. It includes information about accommodations, considerations, final exam dates, and academic integrity. We will not be using Turnitin with onQ.

Learning Outcomes

Required Textbook

The textbook is available at the campus bookstore. Information can be found here for CISC and here for CMPE. A limited number of electronic subscriptions to the textbook are available through Queen's Library here.

Please note: The library has a limited number of electronic subscriptions and may not be available before the exams. If you are relying on the online version, you should prepare for the exams well in advance.


Midterm 20%
(best 8 of 10 assignments each 2.5%)
Final exam 60%
Total: 100%


Name: Benjamin T. Cecchetto

Email: btc [at]

Please consult with your TA regarding questions about the material. They may refer your questions to me. You must get a note from your TA before coming to my office hours.

Due to the size of the course, I will not answer emails about the material directly. I will only respond to emails forwarded by a TA who cannot answer a question. Please use "[CISC223]" in the subject line otherwise I won't see it. I will only respond to direct emails regarding accomodations with subject "[CISC223] Accomodation". To discuss something during my office hours, you must obtain a referral from a TA to make an appointment for my office hour.

Lecture and Assignment Schedule

The material in the text will be discussed in order: Part C, Part A, Part D.

Note: The purpose of the posted outlines is to assist you in taking notes in class. Reading the posted notes is not a substitute for attending the classes. In particular, Most of the examples we go over in class are not included in the posted outlines.

WeekLecturesRequired ReadingAssignment
1IntroductionPart C: Ch 7-
2State-transition DiagramsPart C: Ch 8A1 due
3Regex <=> State DiagramsPart C: Ch 9A2 due
4Nonregular Languages, DFA MinimizationPart C: Ch 9.4A3 due
5Context-Free LanguagesPart C: Ch 10A4 due
6Midterm Test, ParsingPart C: Ch 11-
7Specifying AlgorithmsPart A: Ch 1A5 due
8Verifying AlgorithmsPart A: Ch 2.9A6 due
9More Verifying AlgorithmsPart A: Ch 3A7 due
10Additional Verification TechniquesPart A: Ch 4A8 due
11Unimplementable Specifications, USATPart D: Ch 12A9 due
12A10 due

Classes: Wednesday 10:30 AM, Thursday 2:30 PM, Friday 9:30 AM. Meeting in Dunning Hall Auditorium.

Assignments: Out by 11:00 AM on Thursdays the week before due date. Due by 11:00 AM on Thursdays.

Midterm: 40 minute test during the class hour on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at 10:30AM. The midterm is a closed book test. You may bring with you one 8.5" x 11" page of notes and use it during the midterm test.

Final exam: Held during the regular Winter term final examination period. The final is a 3 hour closed book exam. You may bring one 8.5" x 11" sheet containing notes and use it during the final exam.

Assignment Submission

If you have questions concerning assignment marking, you should discuss them with the TA who did the marking. This must be done within one week from the time when the marked assignments are made available. All assignment marks are considered final after the one week. If you cannot attend the office hours of the TA, please fill out the form here. Place the form and your assignment in an envelope and hand it to the instructor in class or to any of the TAs within one week after the marked assignments were returned in class.


You are encouraged to work together with a group since often it is easier to learn new theoretical concepts by interacting with others. The intention is that all people in a group should be involved in creating the intuition behind a solution. You can, of course, choose to sign an assignment you haven't done, but then you risk not learning the material. In the midterm and final exam you will be required to solve similar problems individually. It is your responsibility alone to ensure you understand the material.

If more than one student is collaborating on an assignment, they must submit a single joint solution. Otherwise, it is a violation of Academic Integrity.

Late Assignment Penalty

Late assignments will be accepted up to 24 hours after the assignment is due. A late assignment will have deducted a penalty of 15% of the maximum mark.

Late assignments should be submitted into the same locked CISC 223 drop-off box.

An assignment which is more than 24 hours late will not be accepted.


All materials presented in this course are subject to copyright. © Copyright 2019 Queen's University. All rights reserved. Publishing the course material elsewhere, e.g. Course Hero, is a violation of copyright and is punishable by law.