Department of Computing and Information Science
Queen's U.


Course Description - fall 2019

Classes Instructor and TAs Textbook Class Topics
Lecture Notes Assignments Tests and Exams Grading


Nov. 24
During the week Nov. 25 - Nov. 28 we have the usual office hours. In the week before the exam office hours are held as follows:

Nov. 24

Nov. 22
The three classes in the last week will be used for review for the final exam. The class on Monday Nov. 25 is given by Taylor Smith.

Nov. 10
Assignment 4 has been posted on the assignments page. Assignment 4 is due on Thursday November 28.

Nov. 4
The midterm papers can be picked up during Chris Keeler office hour Thursday Nov. 7, 11:30 - 12:30 or at end of class Friday Nov. 8. Sample solutions for the midterm are here.

Nov. 2
The lectures on Tuesday Nov. 5 and on Friday Nov. 8 are given by Taylor Smith.

Oct. 22
There is no class on Friday Oct. 25. Have a good midterm break!

Oct. 21
Assignment 3 has been posted on the assignments page. Assignment 3 is due on Thursday November 7.


Sept. 23
Assignment 2 has been posted on the assignments page. Assignment 2 is due on Thursday October 10.

Sept. 11
Assignment 1 has been posted on the assignments page. Assignment 1 is due on Thursday September 26.

Sept. 11
The TA office hours have been posted below. The office hours begin the week of Sept. 16.

Sept. 1
Welcome to the course!

Announcements concerning the course will be posted above and you are expected to check this page frequently.


Monday 4:30 PM Tueasday 2:30 PM Friday 2:30 PM

Note: The classes meet in two different locations. The Monday and Friday classes meet in Chernoff Hall Auditorium and the Tuesday class meets in Etherington Hall Auditorium. For the locations see campus map


Teaching Assistants

Note: TA office hours begin the week of Sept. 16th.

TA office hours are for tutorial help with the course material and assignments, and discussions of assignment and midterm grading.

If you need additional help, please see the COMPSA web pages.

Required textbook

The textbook is available at the campus bookstore. Information from campus bookstore can be found here.

Supplementary reading

Topics covered in class

The topics covered in individual classes, with references to corresponding material in the textbook and/or the lecture notes, will be posted below (in reverse chronological order). Scans of class notes will be posted at the end of each week. At the end of each week we will also post a list of self-test exercises from the textbook that you can use to test understanding of that weeks material. The self-test exercises will not be marked. The textbook contains partial solutions and hints for many of the exercises.

Lecture notes

(the later lecture notes remain under construction)

Class note outlines will be posted on the lecture notes page.

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.

Academic Integrity

Please see a Statement on Academic Integrity from the Arts and Science web site posted here.


There will be 4 sets of assignments, due by 2:30 PM on the following Thursdays: September 26, October 10, November 7, November 28.
The assignments must be based on individual work. Each assignment is worth 8% of your course mark.

The assignment questions (and their solutions after the due date) will be posted on the assignments page.

Rules of the assignments:

If the submission consists of several pages, the pages must be stapled together.

Note: You are asked to write your assignment solutions using non-erasable pen (or to type the solutions). Solutions written in pencil or erasable ink will be marked, but they will not be considered for remarking after the assignments are returned.

If you have questions concerning assignment marking, you should discuss them with the TA who did the marking within one week from the time when the marked assignments are made available. All assignment marks are considered final after that time.
If you cannot attend the office hours of the particular 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.

Late Assignment Penalty

All late assignments should be submitted into the same locked CISC-203 drop-off box on Goodwin hall second floor (near rooms 233, 241).

Tests and Exams

There will be a 40 minute midterm test during the class hour on 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.

The final exam will be held during the regular fall 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.


Your grade is calculated as follows (with the two modifications listed below):

Midterm 18%
(4 assignments, each 8%)
Final exam 50%
Total: 100%


Note: The components of this course will receive numerical marks that will be used to calculate a percentage final grade, as explained above. The final grade you receive for the course will be derived by converting your percentage grade to a letter grade according to Queen's official grade conversion scale.

Calendar description for CISC-203

Proof methods. Combinatorics: permutations and combinations, discrete probability, recurrence relations. Graphs and trees. Boolean and abstract algebra.

Goals of the course

Learning Outcomes

A course learning outcome is a brief statement of a skill, competency, or attitude a successful student will achieve by the end of a course. The following list of learning outcomes for CISC 203 is provided by the School of Computing. (

The School's web page at, and the pages to which it links, are part of this syllabus.

Accommodations Statement

Queen's University is committed to achieving full accessibility for persons with disabilities. Part of this commitment includes arranging academic accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to participate in all of their academic activities. If you are a student with a disability and think you may need accommodations, you are strongly encouraged to contact Student Wellness Services (SWS) and register as early as possible. For more information, including important deadlines, please visit the Student Wellness website at:

Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances

The Senate Policy on Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances ( was approved in April, 2017. Queen's University is committed to providing academic consideration to students experiencing extenuating circumstances that are beyond their control and which have a direct and substantial impact on their ability to meet essential academic requirements. Each Faculty has developed a protocol to provide a consistent and equitable approach in dealing with requests for academic consideration for students facing extenuating circumstances. Arts and Science undergraduate students can find the Faculty of Arts and Science protocol and the portal where they submit a request at: Students in other Faculties and Schools should refer to the protocol for their home Faculty.