Fall 2012: Computer Science II, Data Structures, 22C:021 (CS:2230)


The course meets 2.30--3.20 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at LR1 Van Allen (VAN). Each student is also registered for and will attend a weekly discussion section conducted by one of our TAs.


Kasturi Varadarajan, 101D MacLean Hall, Phone: 335-0732, email:firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu

What this Course is About

Programs, in the course of performing computation, often need to store, query, and update large, or somewhat large, amounts of information. There are usually different ways in which the program can be designed to do this information processing. Some of these ways are good, and others not so good. In several contexts, this distinction is crucial -- it can determine whether an application is useful or completely useless. In brief, then, the goal of this course is to learn that there are usually these different ways of doing the information processing, which are called data structures, and to learn to be increasingly sensitive to the distinction between the good and the bad ways.

That is a lofty goal, but we will begin in a modest way, by first acquiring familiarity with the constructs in Java, the programming language we will use. We will then learn some rather neat things to do, like solving problems using recursion and building linked lists.

We will then dive into several data structures, such as stacks, queues, lists, trees, priority queues, hash tables, and binary search trees. Each of these is a good way of processing information in some contexts, as we will see. Finally, assuming time permits, we will finish off by discussing graphs and basic algorithms on graphs, which illustrate quite well the idea of a good data structure.

For our textbook, we will use "Data Structures and Algorithms in Java", by Goodrich and Tamassia, ISBN 978-0-470-38326-1.


Computer Science I (22C:016). Discrete Structures (22C:019) is a corequisite if not taken as a prerequisite.


The grading will be based on several homeworks (25 percent), two in-class midterms (25 percent each), and the final (25 percent).

Roughly speaking, there will be a homework every week, and I will try to make these due on Monday. This way, you may make greater use of the TA discussion sections on thursday. Most of the homeworks will involve programming in Java.

The policy on late homeworks is that you have a quota of three days for the entire semester that you may use for late submissions. So for example, there will be no penalty if you submit the fifth homework a day late, the seventh two days late, and the rest of the homeworks on time. Once you use up your quota of three days, any homework submitted late will not be accepted and you will get 0 points for that homework.

When you submit a homework X days late, your quota gets decreased by X irrevocably. You can only be late by an integer number of days -- if you submit 10 hours after the deadline, for example, your quota is depleted by one day.

Exam Dates

The midterms will be in our usual classroom and during our class on Wednesday, Sep 26 and on Wednesday, Oct 31. The final will be on Monday, Dec 10, from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm in C107 and C125 PBB (Pappajohn Business Building). The final is scheduled by the Office of the Registrar.

Teaching Assistants and Discussion Sections

Each of the students in the class is registered for a discussion section that he/she is expected to attend. The TAs/discussion section instructors for the class will be Varun Nelakonda and James Hegeman. They will lead discussions according to the following schedule.
Section         Time                    Location                TA
A01             11:00-11:50 Th          202 LC                 Varun   
A02             12:30-1:20 Th           219 NH                 Varun                
A03             2:00-2:50 Th            E224 CB                James
A04             3:30-4:20 Th            346 JH                 James

Office Hours

Office hours are below. Note that you can meet any of us at other times by making an appointment.

Kasturi         3.30--4.30 Mon, 2.00--3.00 Tue                101D MLH
James           3.45--5.15 Wed, 4.45--6.15 Thu                301  MLH
Varun           11.00--1.00 Tue, 2.30 --3.30 Thu              201G MLH

What we cover each week

We will keep a brief summary of what we cover each week here.

Handouts and Notes

Previous Offering

See the page for a previous offering. We expect to follow roughly the same structure.