Automata Theory

Course Details

Course Number: 5313  Section Number: 101

Fall 2011

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 320

Days & Times:

T R 3:30-4:50pm

Course Attachments

Syllabus  SYLLABUS-20120404-155215.doc


Formal Languages and Automata, 5th edJFLAP: An Interactive Formal Languages and Automat
MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Catherine V. Stringfellow   
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Course Objectives

General Objectives

  1. To familiarize students with the foundations and principles of computer science
  2. To strengthen students’ ability to carry out formal and rigorous mathematical arguments.


Specific Objectives: Upon completion of the course students should be able:

  1. to learn how to create deterministic and non-deterministic automata to accept languages
  2. to understand formal languages and grammars and the machines that recognize them, as wells as the Chomsky hierarchy
  3. to convert between equivalent structures, such as regular expressions to FA, NDFAs to DFAs, etc.
  4. to understand Turing machines, and write Turing machine programs
  5. to understand the concept of computability 

Course Expectations

Course Prerequisite:  MATH 2333: Discrete Math and CMPS 2133: Data Structures

 Required Textbook and Materials:

Formal Languages and Automata, 5thed., Linz

JFLAP: An Interactive Formal Languages and Automata Package, by Rodger and Finley


Course Assignments and Evaluation:  Quizzes and homework assignments will be assigned. These will consist of problems from those at the end of sections in the text and the JFLAP manual and problems provided by the instructor.    There will be one midterm and one final.

Grading Standards


Course Assignments and Evaluation:  Quizzes and homework assignments will be assigned. These will consist of problems from those at the end of sections in the text and the JFLAP manual and problems provided by the instructor.    There will be one midterm and one final.

 Final grades will be based on the following criteria:

            Activity                                                           percentage of grade      

            Boardwork and participation                          20%

            Homework assignments                                40%

            Midterm                                                               20%

            Final                                                                    20%

Final Exam12/6/2011  3:30-5:30pm

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Makeup Exams and Quizzes:  There is one midterm and one final exam.  The only acceptable reason for missing an exam is with a valid university excuse (e.g., excuse from the doctor, death in the immediate family, etc.)  A makeup exam will only be given to those students who have a valid excuse.  If you know ahead of time that you will miss an exam, please see me.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Other Policies

Homework assignments will be accepted late up to one week after the due date with a penalty of 10%.  

Boardwork assignments cannot be made up.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.