Course Policies and Information


Lectures will be in-person at 306 Soda Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:30 PM.

We strongly encourage you to attend lectures and to participate during lectures. Lecture recordings will be posted regularly, and might be a good resource for material review.

Discussion sections will be in person on Wednesday 5-6 PM or 6-7 PM. Unless mentioned otherwise, the two discussion sections will cover the same material.


CS170 (or equivalent) is a prerequisite to this course. In some cases, we will allow taking CS170 in parallel to CS172 -- please contact the instructor for approval in such a case.

Grading & Exams

The final grade will be composed as follows:

  • 25% homework

  • 20% first midterm - Thu, Sep 29, 8:00P - 10:00 P - Dwinelle 145

  • 20% second midterm - Thu, Nov 3, 8:00P - 10:00 P - Dwinelle 145

  • 35% final exam - Tue, Dec 13, 8:00A - 11:00A, Exam Location TBD


There will be 11 homework problem sets. When calculating the homework average, we will drop the bottom 2 grades. We will not allow automatic slip days, but will allow a grace period of up to 2 hours for each submission. In case you are under special circumstances that require more time, please contact course staff, and we'll do our best to accommodate. Homework problems will usually be posted on Friday and due the following Friday at 5 PM. During the weeks preceding the two midterms, we will not hand out homework problems to allow you to study for the midterms.

We encourage you to start working on the homework early. We'll hold office hours and homework parties regularly -- you are encouraged to use these resources to ask questions and form study groups.

Homework should be either typed (e.g., in Word or preferably in LaTeX) or written legibly and scanned. We'll provide a LaTex template that you can use.


The required textbook for the course is "Introduction to the Theory of Computation" by Michael Sipser. Most readings will be from the textbook, and the relevant chapters for each lecture will be mentioned on the Lecture Schedule page.

Office Hours

The Instructor and GSI will hold weekly office hours. Office hours are a great opportunity to engage with course staff and ask questions about the material.


The guiding principle for homework collaboration is that your writeup of the solutions should be yours only. You are encouraged to work together in small study groups, where it is fine to discuss the meaning of a problem and ways to solve it; however, you must always write up the solutions on your own. Similarly, you may use books and other sources to help solve homework problems, but you must write up the solution on your own and cite any sources you use.

You should be aware that copying or sharing solutions, in whole or in part, from other students in the class (or any other source without acknowledgment) constitutes cheating. For more information please see the Department's policy on Academic Dishonesty.

If you’re ever in doubt about what constitutes academic dishonesty, please ask course staff or post on Ed.


We do allow time conflicts, but not for exams.

Climate & Incident Reporting

The department is maintaining an Incident Reporting Form that students can use if they feel unsafe, disrespected, or unwelcome. You are encouraged to use it if this applies to you (in this class or elsewhere on campus)

This page has links to other resources regarding student grievances and concerns in EECS.