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CSC 316 — Data Structures

Fall 2019 Schedule of Lectures

Lecture slides, assignments, and solutions available from the course Moodle space

Lecture videos are available from the EOL site

Chapter 7 (5th) / Chapter 8 (6th)

Date Lecture # Topic Assignment Due
Aug 22 1 Overview, goals, logistics

Aug 27 2 Algorithm analysis

Chapter 4 (5th/6th)
Project 1

HW 1
Aug 29 3 Recursion

Chapter 3.5 (5th) / Chapter 5 (6th)
Sep 3 4 Stacks, queues

Chapter 5 (5th) / Chapter 6 (6th)
Sep 5 5 Linked lists

Chapter 3.2-3.4, 6 (5th) / Chapter 3.2-3.4, 7 (6th)

Discussion of Project 1
HW 2 HW 1
Sep 10 6 Linked lists (cont’d)


Chapter 9.5 (5th) / Chapter 10.1 (6th)
Sep 12 7 Binary search

Chapter 9.3 (5th) / Chapter 10.3 (6th)

Skip lists

Chapter 9.4 (5th) / Chapter 10.4 (6th)
Sep 17 8 Introduction to trees
Sep 19 No class (reading day) Project 2 Project 1
Sep 23/24 First exam    
Sep 26 9 Binary search trees

Chapter 10.1 (5th) / Chapter 11.1 (6th)
Oct 1 10 2-3 trees, B-trees

Chapter 10.4, 14.3 (5th) / Chapter 11.5, 15.3 (6th)
HW 3  
Oct 3 11 Discussion of Project 2
Splay trees

Chapter 10.3 (5th) / Chapter 11.4 (6th)
Oct 8 12 Priority queues

Chapter 8.1-8.3 (5th) / Chapter 9.1-9.4 (6th)
Oct 10 No class (fall break)    
Oct 15 13 Leftist Heaps   HW 3
Oct 17 No class (reading day) Project 3

HW 4
Project 2
Oct 21/22 Second exam    
Oct 24 14 Up-trees for union-find applications

Chapter 11.4 (5th) / Chapter 14.7.3 (6th)
Oct 29 15 Introduction to graphs

Chapter 13.1, 13.2 (5th) / Chapter 14.1, 14.2 (6th)
Oct 31 16 Minimum spanning trees

Chapter 13.6 (5th) / Chapter 14.7 (6th)

Discussion of Project 3
Nov 5 17 Discussion of Project 3

Shortest paths
Chapter 13.5 (5th) / Chapter 14.5 (6th)
HW 5 HW 4
Nov 7 18 Shortest paths (cont’d), Topological ordering

Chapter 13.4.1, 13.4.3 (5th) / Chapter 14.6 (6th)
Nov 12 19 Graph traversals

Chapter 13.3 (5th) / Chapter 14.3 (6th)
Nov 14 20 PageRank

Hashing techniques

Chapter 9.2 (5th) / Chapter 10.2 (6th)
Nov 19 No class Project 4 Project 3
Nov 21 21 Discussion of Project 4

Hashing techniques (cont’d)
Nov 26 22 Sorting: Mergesort, Quicksort, Sorting lower bound, Radix sort

Chapter 11.1-11.4 (5th) / Chapter 12.1-12.4 (6th)
  HW 5
Nov 28 No class (Thanksgiving Holiday)    
Dec 3 23 Greedy algorithms    
Dec 5 No class (reading day)   Project 4
Dec 9/10 Final exam    



Students who wish to take this course must be CSC majors who have received a grade of C or better in both CSC 216 (Programming Concepts with JAVA) and CSC 226 (Discrete Math).


The purpose of this course is to introduce the principles and underlying concepts of algorithm design, and enhance your problem solving and software development skills. To this end, a wide range of practical techniques for manipulating data in digital computers will be presented, along with a mathematical analysis of their performance.

At the conclusion of the course you should be able to:

  1. characterize the worst-case running time and space usage of algorithms and data structure operations as a function of input size;
  2. identify when recursion is useful, and design and implement complex recursive and iterative algorithms, including sorting algorithms;
  3. construct and use a number of data structures, including a stack, queue, linked list, array, tree, heap, graph, and hash table;
  4. explain how abstract data types (e.g., sequences or graphs) can be represented as different data structures (e.g., adjacency lists or adjacency matrices);
  5. describe and implement algorithms for binary search trees;
  6. describe and implement algorithms on graphs, including breadth-first and depth-first search, constructing minimum spanning trees, and finding shortest paths;
  7. describe and implement hashing functions and hash tables.

I encourage and expect you to participate actively in the learning process. In particular, I welcome your comments and questions as we cover material in class. One-way lectures quickly become boring, both for you and for me. By asking lots of questions your understanding of the material will be deepened significantly, and the course will be much more fun!


The course will cover a wide range of data structures and associated algorithms, including:

  •  Properties of programs, running time, and asymptotics
  •  Array and linked-memory implementations of lists, stacks, and queues
  •  Searching using lists, unbalanced tree structures (binary search trees, Splay trees) and balanced trees (2-3 trees, randomized binary search trees)
  •  Up-trees as sets with union-find operations
  •  Graphs and graph algorithms (traversals, shortest paths, minimum spanning trees)
  •  Sorting (heap sort, merge sort, insertion sort, selection sort, quick sort)
  •  Hash tables and hashing techniques


Students are required to purchase the following textbook:

  •  M. T. Goodrich, R. Tamassia, Data Structures and Algorithms in JAVA (6th edition), Wiley, 2014

The authors maintain a webpage with useful resources.

I will also make available an extensive set of lecture slides.


Students are required to complete all assignments and show all work in order to receive full credit. The final grade will be determined using the following weights:

  •  40% — Four programming projects (10% each)
  •  10% — Five homework assignments (2% each)
  •  30% — Two in-class exams (closed book, 15% each)
  •  20% — Final exam (comprehensive, closed book)


Attendance: Attendance is not mandatory but strongly encouraged. Students are responsible for making up any course material they miss.

Assignments: No hard copies of assignments or solutions will be handed out. New assignments and solutions will be announced in class and/or the course mailing list, and will be available on the course web page.

Submission: Students must submit their assignments as PDF or Word files using the submit facility. The deadline for submission is midnight (Eastern time) on the day due. Any deadline extensions are up to the discretion of the instructor, and will be announced to the whole class. Extensions may be provided to individual students only in advance of the submission deadline and only under extenuating circumstances.

Late Submission: No late assignments will be accepted and no partial credit will be given for late assignments without a valid excuse.

Cheating: Homework and projects are individual assignments and students are required to submit their own solutions. All students are bound by the University’s academic integrity policies (refer to the relevant section below).

Teaching Assistant

Effat Farhana Xu ( is the TA for this course.

Her office hours are 1-3pm on Tuesdays at 1211F EB2, or you may contact her to arrange for an online chat or video call at a mutually convenient time.

Feel free to contact the TA for any questions about the course.

Office Hours

My office is in Room 2306 of the EB II building.

My office hours are 1:30-2:30pm on Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays. Distance students may either call me during those times, or may arrange to stop by or call at a different mutually convenient time.

Academic Integrity

Students are required to respect the NC State academic integrity policies.